# Coefficient

In mathematics, a **coefficient** is a constant multiplicative factor of a specified object. The object can be a variable, a vector, a function, or anything else that might be subject to multiplication.

For example, the coefficient of in the expression is 5. Note that it is important that we specify what we are looking at the coefficients of: 5 also has a coefficient in , namely .

Coefficients come up most frequently in a discussion of polynomials, for example, in the polynomial , the coefficient for is , the coefficient for is , and the coefficient for is .

## Leading Coefficient

The leading coefficient is the coefficient of the highest degree in a polynomial. It is used to write the polynomial in standard form, and is especially used to factor quadratics.

## Usage

Coefficient are often used to more easily refer to parts of a expression or a polynomial. For example, the , , and in the Quadratic Formula, are all coefficients of the polynomial .