Mathematics: A number or symbol multiplying a variable or an unknown quantity in an algebraic term, as 4 in the term 4x, or x in the term x(a+b).

Physics: A numerical measure of a physical or chemical property that is constant for a system under specified conditions such as the coefficient of friction.

Co`ef*fi"cient (?), a.

Cooperating; acting together to produce an effect.

Co`ef*fi"cient, n.

1.

That which unites in action with something else to produce the same effect.

2. [Cf. F. coefficient.] Math.

A number or letter put before a letter or quantity, known or unknown, to show how many times the latter is to be taken; as, 6x; bx; here 6 and b are coefficients of x.

3. Physics

A number, commonly used in computation as a factor, expressing the amount of some change or effect under certain fixed conditions as to temperature, length, volume, etc.; as, the coefficient of expansion; the coefficient of friction.

Arbitrary coefficient Math., a literal coefficient placed arbitrarily in an algebraic, expression, the value of the coefficient being afterwards determined by the conditions of the problem.