co·​ef·​fi·​cient | \ ˌkō-ə-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce coefficient (audio) \

Definition of coefficient

1 : any of the factors of a product considered in relation to a specific factor especially : a constant factor of a term as distinguished from a variable
2a : a number that serves as a measure of some property or characteristic (as of a substance, device, or process) coefficient of expansion of a metal

Examples of coefficient in a Sentence

5 is the coefficient of y in the term 5y. the metal's coefficient of expansion
Recent Examples on the Web But Chile is within the regional range on the GINI coefficient, the indicator used to measure income inequality. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Chile is a rich country and that is why its people are so angry," 27 Nov. 2019 Income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, varies significantly across the United States. Joshua Jansa, The Conversation, "Inequality is higher in some states like New York and Louisiana because of corporate welfare," 7 Nov. 2019 The key metric here is called the Gini coefficient. Deroy Murdock, National Review, "I Dream of Gini: Income Gap Grows under Trump, Obama — but So What?," 11 Oct. 2019 The Gini coefficient is a measure of income distribution that ranges from 0 (perfect equality) to 1 (perfect inequality). Joshua Jansa, The Conversation, "Inequality is higher in some states like New York and Louisiana because of corporate welfare," 7 Nov. 2019 This says the magnitude of the frictional force is proportional to the coefficient of kinetic friction that depends on the types of materials and the force pushing the two surfaces together. Rhett Allain, Popular Mechanics, "How to Hack Jenga Using Science," 25 Sep. 2019 But polynomials and their features — their roots, their coefficients, their various forms — help expose structure in surprising places, creating connections to the algebra all around us. Exercises 1. Quanta Magazine, "Color Me Polynomial," 13 Aug. 2019 Taycan’s aerodynamics are even better than the 911’s, Porsche says, based on a coefficient drag factor of 0.22. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Meet Taycan, Porsche’s first all-electric sports car and Tesla’s latest challenger," 4 Sep. 2019 What values of the coefficient of friction will get this to work? Rhett Allain, WIRED, "An Electric Pickup Truck Really Could Pull a Freight Train—Here's How," 30 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coefficient.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coefficient

circa 1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coefficient

New Latin coefficient-, coefficiens, from Latin co- + efficient-, efficiens efficient

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Time Traveler for coefficient

Time Traveler

The first known use of coefficient was circa 1715

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Last Updated

13 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Coefficient.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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How to pronounce coefficient (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of coefficient

mathematics : a number by which another number or symbol is multiplied
physics : a number that is used to measure some property or characteristic of a substance


co·​ef·​fi·​cient | \ ˌkō-ə-ˈfish-ənt How to pronounce coefficient (audio) \

Medical Definition of coefficient

: a number that serves as a measure of some property (as of a substance) or characteristic (as of a device or process) and that is commonly used as a factor in computations the coefficient of expansion of a metal — see absorption coefficient

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What made you want to look up coefficient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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