One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.

# Definition of *Alexander polynomial* in English:

## Alexander polynomial

### noun

MathematicsA polynomial in one variable that can be constructed for any knot (based on the number and type of crossings present in a two-dimensional representation of the knot), and is the same for any two knots which are topologically equivalent.

**Origin**

1930s; earliest use found in American Journal of Mathematics. From the name of James Waddell Alexander, U.S. mathematician, who suggested this method of characterizing knots in 1928 + polynomial.