Indeterminate (variable)

In mathematics, particularly in formal algebra, an indeterminate is a symbol that is treated as a variable, does not stand for anything else except itself. It may be used as a placeholder in objects such as polynomials and formal power series.[1][2] In particular:

When used as placeholders, a common operation is to substitute mathematical expressions (of an appropriate type) for the indeterminates.

By a common abuse of language, mathematical texts may not clearly distinguish indeterminates from ordinary variables.


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