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Degree

1. Angle measure

Degrees are a unit of angle measure. A full circle is divided into 360 degrees. For example, a right angle is 90 degrees. A degree has the symbol ° and so ninety degrees would written 90°. Another unit of angle measure is the radian.

2. Degree of a term

  • The degree of a term is the exponent of the term. For example the term has a degree of 2.

  • If the term has more than one variable multiplied together it is the sum of the exponents. For example has a degree of 6 (4+2).

  • If there is no exponent, the degree is 1, since

  • If the term is just a constant its degree is zero. Recall that and so any constant (say 9) could be re-written:

3. Degree of a polynomial

The degree of a polynomial is the highest degree of any term in the polynomial. For example the polynomial has a degree of 5 because the x5 term has the highest degree. See ("degree of a term" above).