# Metamath Proof Explorer

## Table of Contents - 10.9.4. Univariate polynomials

According to Wikipedia ("Polynomial", 23-Dec-2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynomial) "A polynomial in one indeterminate is called a univariate polynomial, a polynomial in more than one indeterminate is called a multivariate polynomial." In this sense univariate polynomials are defined as multivariate polynomials restricted to one indeterminate/polynomial variable in the following, see ply1bascl2.

According to the definition in Wikipedia "a polynomial can either be zero or can be written as the sum of a finite number of nonzero terms. Each term consists of the product of a number - called the coefficient of the term - and a finite number of indeterminates, raised to nonnegative integer powers.". By this, a term of a univariate polynomial (often also called "polynomial term") is the product of a coefficient (usually a member of the underlying ring) and the variable, raised to a nonnegative integer power.

A (univariate) polynomial which has only one term is called (univariate) monomial- therefore, the notions "term" and "monomial" are often used synonymously, see also the definition in [Lang] p. 102. Sometimes, however, a monomial is defined as power product, "a product of powers of variables with nonnegative integer exponents", see Wikipedia ("Monomial", 23-Dec-2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mononomial). In [Lang] p. 101, such terms are called "primitive monomials". To avoid any ambiguity, the notion "primitive monomial" is used for such power products ("x^i") in the following, whereas the synonym for "term" ("ai x^i") will be "scaled monomial".