An expression made up of variables and/or constants that are combined with addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Examples:

To find the degree of a polynomial, we first need to find the degree of each of its terms. The *degree of a term* is the sum of the powers of all of the variables in that term. So, for instance, has a degree of 2, and has a degree of 4. The *degree of a polynomial* is equal to the degree of its highest-degree term. Examples: has a degree of 4 or, in other words, is a fourth degree polynomial.

A polynomial is said to be in *standard form* when it is written with its highest-degree term first, with the rest of the terms written in order of descending degree. For example, is written in standard form, whereas is not.

Repeated multiplication can be written using exponential notation. For example, *base*, and is known as the *exponent* or the *power*. The base thus refers to the quantity being multiplied by itself, and the exponent tells us how many times this multiplication happens.

For an expression of the form

Examples: