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Degree

polynomial variable monomial terms

The word "degree" as used in algebra refers to a property of polynomials. The degree of a polynomial in one variable (a monomial), such as 5x3, is the exponent, 3, of the variable. The degree of a monomial involving more than one variable, such as 3x2y, is the sum of the exponents; in this case, 2 + 1 = 3. The degree of a polynomial with more than one term is the highest degree among its monomial terms. Thus the degree of 5x2y + 7x3y2z2 + 8x4y is 3 + 2 + 2 = 7.

The degree of a polynomial equation is the highest degree among its terms. Thus the degree of the equation 5x3 - 3x2 = x + 1 is 3.

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