In algebraic number theory, an algebraic integer is a complex number which is integral over the integers. That is, an algebraic integer is a complex root of some monic polynomial (a polynomial whose leading coefficient is 1) whose coefficients are integers. The set of all algebraic integers A is closed under addition, subtraction and multiplication and therefore is a commutative subring of the complex numbers.
The ring of integers of a number field K, denoted by OK, is the intersection of K and A: it can also be characterised as the maximal order of the field K. Each algebraic integer belongs to the ring of integers of some number field. A number α is an algebraic integer if and only if the ring is finitely generated as an abelian group, which is to say, as a -module.