# Degree

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 5x^{3}, is the **exponent**, 3, of the variable. The degree of a monomial involving more than one variable, such as 3x^{2}y, 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 5x^{2}y + 7x^{3}y^{2}z^{2} + 8x^{4}y is 3 + 2 + 2 = 7.

The degree of a polynomial equation is the highest degree among its terms. Thus the degree of the equation 5x^{3} - 3x^{2} = x + 1 is 3.

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