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GLOSSARY OF MATH TERMS

ALGEBRA AND GEOMETRY

Word Definition Examples

U

Unknown

The value that is represented by a letter in a equation.

Variable = Unknown

V

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Variable A letter used to represent a number. When the variable is part of an equation, it is possible to find the value for which it stands for by solving the equation. This is the solution (s) of the equation.
Variable expression Mathematical phrase with at least one variable in it.

10 – 8x + y

is a variable expression

Vector Any quantity that has magnitude (same as size) and direction (north, south, east, west and in between points). A vector has an initial point and a terminal point.
Vertex The lowest point for a parabola that opens up (minimum); the highest point for a parabola that opens down (maximum).
Vertex angle of an isosceles triangle The vertex opposite to the base of an isosceles triangle, also the included angle between the congruent legs of an isosceles triangle.
Vertex form of a quadratic function The vertex form of a quadratic function is: f(x) = a(x-h)2 + k. The vertex coordinates are (h,k).
Vertical angles Opposite and congruent angles by the vertex formed when two straight lines intersect.
Vertical line test Graphical method to determine if a graphed relation in the coordinate plane is a function or not. A vertical line is drawn intersecting the graph. If there is a part of the graph for which the line intersects in more than one point the graph, then the relation is not a function.
Vertices of a hyperbola Are identified as the endpoints in the line segment that is the transverse axis of the hyperbola.
Vertices of an ellipse The endpoints of the major axis containing the foci.
Volume It is a measure of the space occupied by a figure.

W

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Whole Number All non-negative integers including zero. 0, 1, 2, 3, ...

X

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x-axis The horizontal axis in the coordinate plane.
x-coordinate The first number in an ordered pair. It is the distance left or right in the x direction.
x-intercept The x-coordinate in the point where a line crosses the x-axis

Y

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y-axis The vertical axis of the coordinate plane
y-coordinate The second number in an ordered pair. It is the distance up or down in the y direction.
y-intercept The y-coordinate of the point where a graph  crosses the y-axis

Z

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Zero of a function Zeros of a function: The solutions for the equation of the function when this is equal to 0. The roots, also known as the x-intercepts.
Zero Product Property For the product of any two real numbers; it means that at least one of them is zero, so the product be equal to zero. This property allow us to solve equations that are equal to zero; to be solved by factoring (linear factors)