ALGEBRA GLOSSARY
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Title  Description  

Parabola  The graph of a quadratic function is a Parabola, a conic section. 

Parallel Lines  Coplanar Lines that never meet or cross are Parallel. If lines simply never cross, they may be skew (noncoplanar). 

Parallel Planes  Two distinct planes, collections of flat expansion of points, that never meet are considered Parallel Planes. 

Parallel Postulate  Given a line and a specific point not on the line, there is only one line through the specific point parallel to the given line. 

Parallelepiped  A shoebox is a Parallelepiped. Any geometric body with six faces that are each parallelograms that are in planes parallel to the opposite face. 

Parallelogram  A quadrilateral with two pairs of parallel sides is a Parallelogram; it has many dependable properties. 

Parametric Equation  In a general sense, we have a Parametric Equation when we define something in specific terms of something else. 

Parentheses  Symbols ( ) serve to isolate or group written entities. 

Partial Fraction  A Fraction built from the decomposition of other terms. 

Partial Sum  A Partial Sum occurs when we sum only a finite number of terms from a larger or infinite series of terms. 

Pascal's Triangle  Pascal's Triangle is an important device for understanding binomial expansion and combinatorics. 

Pentagon  A fivesided polygon. 

Percent  Literally, per hundred. 

Percentage  Any reference to percent is a Percentage; the fraction of 100 a value represents. 

Percentile  Certain types of data lend themselves to description by what percent of the values exceed (or fall below) a specific data value. A Percentile states what percent of the data is less than the specific data value. 

Perfect Square  Most generally a Perfect Square is an integer that is the product of another integer times itself. 

Perimeter  The distance around the outside of a planar object or a plane figure is its perimeter. 

Period  Measured in time, or angle, or even sometimes distance, the Period of a repetitive function is the time (or angle or distance) it takes to complete a cycle. 

Periodic  Functions that repeat a cycle over and over again are considered Periodic. 

Permutation  A specific order to the grouping of objects in a combination is termed a Permutation. 

Perpendicular  At right angles. 

Perpendicular Bisector  A line segment (or side of a polygon) has a unique line through its midpoint perpendicular to the line segment (or side).  
Phase Shift  This applies to sinusoids moved left or right by a change to the argument (the angle). 

Phi  The twentyfirst letter of the Greek alphabet. 

Pi  The constant ratio of circumference to diameter is represented by the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet; it is approximately 3.14159. 

Piecewise  Literally taken in sections or pieces. 

Piecewise Continuous Function  When a function is defined over an interval of the domain by different relations to the dependent variable we call it a Piecewise Continuous Function. 

Plane  An infinite expanse of points in two dimensions. 

Plane Geometry  Basic geometry is Plane Geometry. We hold to the parallel postulate and Euclidean principles. 

Plus  A symbol for addition, or the operation itself. 

Point  A location of infinitesimal size, that is, no size. A mathematical idea. 

PointSlope Equation  A handy algebraic relation to obtain an equation of a line from a given point and slope. 

Polar Complex Number  We may express complex numbers in trigonometric form. 

Polar Coordinates  In labeling a point in a plane we need two coordinates. In Polar Coordinates we use a radius and an angle, as (r, theta). 

PolarRectangular Conversion  An algorithm for changing (r, theta) to (x, y). 

Polygon  A closed plane figure with straight sides. 

Polyhedron  A geometric solid with faces that are polygons. 

Polynomial  A series of terms (or a single term, a monomial), usually with at least one variable; terms are separated by plus signs or minus signs. 

Population  Statistically when we sample a Population we generally seek a representative sample. A Population is the group from which we take a sample. 

Positive  Real values are Positive when they are greater than zero. 

Postulate  A farreaching conjecture or sense of reasoning for which an obvious and substantive base appears most reasonable. 

Power  Power most often means the value of an exponent. 

Precision  The quality of finer measurement or estimation is termed Precision.  
Prime Factorization  The process of finding the prime factors of a composite number is called Prime Factorization. 

Prime Number  A positive integer evenly divisible by itself and one but no other integers is considered a Prime Number. 

Principal  An amount, typically money, upon which the time value of money (accumulation of an added percentage over a defined time) generates interest is termed Principal. 

Probability  The likelihood of an event or particular outcome is its Probability. All Probabilities are between 0 and 1 (between zero percent and 100 percent). 

Product  The result of the operation of multiplication is called a Product. 

Projectile Motion  Projectile Motion is a parabolic arc caused by gravity. 

Proof  An ingredient in pudding. 

Proper Subset  A set that is a subset of a given set and not identical to the given set is a Proper Subset of the given set. 

Proportional  In a (constant) ratio. 

Psi  The 23rd letter (nexttolast) of the Greek alphabet. 

Pure Imaginary Number  Given a complex number of the form a + bi, when a = 0 we say that the number is a Pure (or purely) Imaginary Number.  
Pyramid  A geometric solid with a base of a polygon and planar lateral sides that meet at a point called an apex is termed a Pyramid. 

Pythagorean Triple  A series of three integers for whom the Pythagorean relation holds, as 345 or 51213, because 3² + 4² = 5² and 5² + 12² = 13². 
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