Home / All Definitions / Algebra / Leading Coefficient Definition

A leading coefficient is the coefficient of a polynomials leading term. For instance, given the polynomial 8x5 + 3x2 - 3x + 7, the leading coefficient is 8. The leading coefficient also is quite often associated with matrices. With matrices leading coefficients are otherwise referred to as leading entries. For a given row in a matrix the first nonzero entry in that row is the leading coefficient. For instance, given a matrix whose second row is: [0, 0, 3, 5, 0], the leading coefficient is 3.

### Sources

“Coefficient.” From Wolfram MathWorld, mathworld.wolfram.com/Coefficient.html.

“Coefficient.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 June 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coefficient.

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