powered by Google (TM)
index: click on a letter
A B C D E
F G H  I  J
K L M N O
P Q R S T
U V W X Y
Z A to Z index
index: subject areas
numbers & symbols
sets, logic, proofs
geometry
algebra
trigonometry
advanced algebra
& pre-calculus
calculus
advanced topics
probability &
statistics
real world
applications
multimedia
entries
about mathwords  
website feedback  


Degenerate

An example of a definition that stretches the definition to an absurd degree.

A degenerate triangle is the "triangle" formed by three collinear points. It doesn’t look like a triangle, it looks like a line segment.

A parabola may be thought of as a degenerate ellipse with one vertex at an infinitely distant point.

Degenerate examples can be used to test the general applicability of formulas or concepts. Many of the formulas developed for triangles (such as area formulas) apply to degenerate triangles as well.

 

 

See also

Degenerate conics

 


  this page updated 27-aug-12
Mathwords: Terms and Formulas from Algebra I to Calculus
written, illustrated, and webmastered by Bruce Simmons
NCTM Web Bytes December 2004 Web Bytes March 2005 Web Bytes