# Glossary for GCSE Maths

Mathematical terms you need to know for GCSE exam success.

Algebra - A branch of mathematics that deals with symbols and the rules for manipulating these symbols to solve equations.

Angle - The measure of the amount of rotation required to bring one line or plane into coincidence with another.

Area - The amount of space inside a two-dimensional shape, usually measured in square units.

Arc - A segment of a circle's circumference.

Axis - A straight line used for reference when plotting graphs or coordinates.

Binomial - An algebraic expression that consists of two terms.

Box plot - A graphical representation of data that shows the median, quartiles, and outliers of a set of data.

Cartesian plane - A two-dimensional coordinate system that uses horizontal and vertical axes to locate points.

Circle - A closed two-dimensional shape where all points on the boundary are equidistant from a fixed point called the center.

Coefficient - A numerical or constant factor that multiplies a variable in an algebraic expression.

Complementary angles - Two angles whose sum is 90 degrees.

Composite number - A number that has more than two factors.

Cone - A three-dimensional shape with a circular base and a curved surface that tapers to a point called the apex.

Congruent - Two shapes are congruent if they have the same shape and size.

Constant - A number that does not change in a mathematical expression or equation.

Coordinates - The position of a point in space relative to a fixed reference point or origin, usually expressed as an ordered pair of numbers.

Cosine - The trigonometric function that gives the ratio of the adjacent side to the hypotenuse of a right triangle.

Cross-section - The shape formed by cutting through an object perpendicular to its length.

Cube - A three-dimensional shape with six square faces.

Cylinder - A three-dimensional shape with two circular bases and a curved surface.

Denominator - The bottom part of a fraction that represents the number of equal parts into which a whole is divided.

Denominator - The bottom part of a fraction that represents the number of equal parts into which a whole is divided.

Derivative - The rate at which a function changes over time or space.

Diagonal - A line segment connecting two non-adjacent vertices of a polygon.

Diameter - A straight line that passes through the center of a circle and touches two points on its circumference.

Digit - One of the symbols used to represent numbers, usually from 0 to 9.

Discriminant - The expression b^2 - 4ac in the quadratic formula that determines the nature of the roots of a quadratic equation.

Distributive property - A property of multiplication that states a(b + c) = ab + ac.

Dividend - The number being divided in a division problem.

Divisor - The number that divides the dividend in a division problem.

Equation - A mathematical statement that two expressions are equal.

Exponent - A number that indicates how many times a base is multiplied by itself.

Factor - A number or algebraic expression that divides exactly into another number or expression.

Factorization - The process of writing a number or expression as a product of its factors.

Fibonacci sequence - A sequence of numbers where each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ...

Fractal - A geometric shape that has self-similarity at different scales.

Frequency - The number of times a particular value appears in a set of data.

Function - A relation between two sets of elements such that there is a unique element in the second set assigned to each element in the first set.

Function notation - A way of expressing a function using a specific symbol and variable.

Geometric mean - The nth root of the product of n numbers.

Gradient - The slope of a line, usually expressed as rise over run.

Graph - A visual representation of data using coordinates or other mathematical tools.

Golden ratio - A special number that is approximately equal to 1.61803398875 and is found in many natural and artistic patterns.

HCF - The highest common factor of two or more numbers.

Hypotenuse - The longest side of a right-triangle, which is opposite the right angle and is found using the Pythagorean theorem.

Improper fraction - A fraction where the numerator is greater than or equal to the denominator.

HCF - The highest common factor of two or more numbers.

Hypotenuse - The longest side of a right-triangle, which is opposite the right angle and is found using the Pythagorean theorem.

Improper fraction - A fraction where the numerator is greater than or equal to the denominator.

Indices - A mathematical operation where a number is raised to a power.

Inequality - A mathematical statement that compares two quantities using the symbols <, >, ≤, or ≥.

Inverse function - A function that undoes the effect of another function.

Irrational number - A number that cannot be expressed as a ratio of two integers.

Isosceles triangle - A triangle with two sides of equal length.

Intersect - The point at which two lines or curves meet or cross.

Line of best fit - A straight line that is the best approximation of a set of data points.

LCM - The lowest common multiple of two or more numbers.

Limit - The value that a function approaches as the input approaches a certain value.

Matrix - A rectangular array of numbers or variables arranged in rows and columns.

Mean - The average value of a set of numbers, calculated by dividing the sum of the numbers by the number of elements in the set.

Median - The middle value in a set of numbers when they are arranged in order from least to greatest.

Mode - The most frequent value in a set of numbers.

Negative number - A number less than zero.

Obtuse angle - An angle greater than 90 degrees but less than 180 degrees.

Octagon - A polygon with eight sides and eight angles.

Order of operations - A set of rules for evaluating mathematical expressions, usually given as PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction).

Parabola - A U-shaped curve formed by the graph of a quadratic function.

Parallel lines - Two lines in a plane that never intersect, no matter how far they are extended.

Percent - A fraction expressed as a part of 100.

Perimeter - The distance around the edge of a two-dimensional shape.

Perpendicular lines - Two lines that intersect at a right angle.

Pi - A mathematical constant equal to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, approximately 3.14159.

Plane - A flat, two-dimensional surface that extends infinitely in all directions.

Point - A specific location in space, usually represented by a dot.

Polynomial - An algebraic expression made up of one or more terms.

Positive number - A number greater than zero.

Power - An expression where a number is raised to a certain exponent or power.

Quadratic - A polynomial of degree two, represented by an equation of the form ax^2 + bx + c = 0.

Ratio - The comparison of two quantities, usually expressed in the form a:b or a/b.

Simultaneous equations - Two or more equations with two or more variables that are solved together.

Trigonometry - The study of the relationships between the sides and angles of triangles.