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Concept

Leading Term

The leading term of a polynomial is the monomial with the highest degree. When written in standard form, the leading term is the first term from left to right.
Polynomial a_nx^n+...+a_2x^2 + a_1x + a_0; Leading Term: a_nx^n.

The degree of the leading term is the degree of the polynomial and the coefficient of the leading term is called the leading coefficient. For example, consider the polynomial

P(x)=2x^3 -8x + 3; leading term is 2x^3.

The degree of the polynomial is and its leading coefficient is The leading term also helps determine the total number of zeros, real and imaginary, of a polynomial and the end behavior of its graph.