co·​ef·​fi·​cient ˌkō-ə-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce coefficient (audio)
: 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
: 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 According to a standard called the Gini coefficient—where 0 is perfect equality and 1 is complete inequality—the US scores poorly for a rich country, at 0.38 on the scale, beaten out by Norway (0.29) and Switzerland (0.32) but better than Mexico (0.42). WIRED, 21 Oct. 2023 Another important factor is to understand the friction coefficient of tile. Kaitlyn McInnis, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Oct. 2023 Rolls reshaped and optimized every surface above and on the underside, leading to contribute to an impressive 0.25 coefficient of drag (versus 0.31 for the Phantom Coupe). Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, 3 July 2023 This combines with a power increase from 282 to 296 hp and a reduction in the coefficient of drag from 0.33 to 0.30 to yield better performance. Csaba Csere, Car and Driver, 28 July 2023 After remaining stable for decades, a measure of income distribution called the Gini coefficient has reached levels of unfairness not seen since the Roaring Twenties. Sebastian Junger, National Review, 13 July 2023 The research uses the Gini coefficient, which assigns values of 0 to 100: A zero score means everyone holds the same amount of wealth, while a score of 100 means that one person holds it all. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Aug. 2023 China’s Gini coefficient, which measures inequality, has decreased significantly since the 2000s, but continues to hover above 0.46, which by international standards signals a high level of income inequality. Time, 23 June 2023 Perseverance had a coefficient of 0.11, meaning that its influence was roughly a quarter (i.e. 0.11/0.48) as strong as VO2 max—still a strongly significant finding. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 5 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coefficient.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of coefficient was circa 1715

Dictionary Entries Near coefficient

Cite this Entry

“Coefficient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


co·​ef·​fi·​cient ˌkō-ə-ˈfish-ənt How to pronounce coefficient (audio)
: a number or symbol by which another number or symbol (as a mathematical variable) is multiplied
3 is the coefficient of x in the expression 3x
: a number that serves as a measure of some property (as of a substance or device)
the metal's coefficient of expansion

Medical Definition


co·​ef·​fi·​cient ˌkō-ə-ˈfish-ənt How to pronounce coefficient (audio)
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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