## Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a term as "in an algebraic expression: each of the components that are connected by elementary signs of arithmetic, esp. those of addition and subtraction."## Real Examples of Terms in Algebra

It is easier to understand terms with examples.- A term can be a number:

- A term can be a letter:

The letter can be a variable (that can take any value) or it can be a constant (that only has one value). - A term can have a number and a letter together:

The number is multiplying the letter. 2 is the coefficient of x. - A term can have two or more letters next to each other:

In this case, the letters are mutiplying each other. - A term can have letters which have an exponent.

An exponent tells you how many times that letter is multiplied with itself - A term can contain brackets next to other numbers and letters:

The parentheses muliply the rest of the term.

how to mulitply letters

## Terms in an Expression in Algebra

Terms are separated by + and - signs in an expression.Expressions are built from terms that are added or subtracted together.

## What Is Algebra?

Algebra comes from the Arabic word 'al-jebr', meaning "reunion of broken parts".## Factors of a Term

A term is made by multiplying numbers, letters and brackets together. Each number, letter and bracket that is multiplied to make the term is a factor of that term. Learn more about factors in algebra## Like Terms

Terms that have the same combination of letters are called "like terms". For example,**x**,

**3x**,

**½x**are all like terms. Also,

**xy**,

^{2}**5xy**,

^{2}**¼xy**are all like terms. Number terms, like

^{2}**2**,

**6**and

**-1**are also like terms. This is useful when we want to "collect like terms" in order to simplify an expression.

## You might also like...

#### Help Us Improve Mathematics Monster

- Do you disagree with something on this page?
- Did you spot a typo?

__this form__.

#### Find Us Quicker!

- When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Mathematics Monster quicker if you add
**#mm**to your search term.

#### Share This Page

If you like Mathematics Monster (or this page in particular), please link to it or share it with others.

If you do, __please tell us__. It helps us a lot!

#### Create a QR Code

Use our handy widget to create a QR code for this page...or any page.