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Multiplicity

How many times a particular number is a zero for a given polynomial. For example, in the polynomial function f(x) = (x – 3)4(x – 5)(x – 8)2, the zero 3 has multiplicity 4, 5 has multiplicity 1, and 8 has multiplicity 2. Although this polynomial has only three zeros, we say that it has seven zeros counting multiplicity.

 

 

See also

Double root, triple root, fundamental theorem of algebra

 


  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