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A polynomial is a combination of variables, exponents and constants. The combination may be addition, subtraction or multiplication, but not division.

Exponent is a variable raised to a power.


a, b are called coefficients – positive or negative numbers
x is a variable
c is a constant – a positive or negative number

The quantities separated by the + or – sign are called terms. A term is also called a monomial.
Exponent of the variable x in the first term is 2 (a positive number). Negative exponents do not make a polynomial.

1. The variable in the expression must not be in the denominator.
2. Variable cannot have a negative exponent.
3. The variable cannot be inside a radical such as a square root.


A polynomial with one term is called a monomial, also known as univariate.

A polynomial with two terms is called a binomial, also known as bivariate.

A polynomial with three terms is called a trinomial, also known as trivariate.

Degree of a polynomial:

The example polynomial is a 2-degree polynomial; it is also called a quadratic.

the exponent of a term indicates the degree of the polynomial.