Definition of discriminant in English:



  • 1An agent or characteristic that enables things, people, or classes to be distinguished from one another.

    ‘anemia is commonly present in patients with both conditions, and is therefore not a helpful discriminant’
    • ‘The relative impact of these characteristics was explored in discriminant analyses.’
    • ‘We thus obtained measures of environmental and mammal community characteristics, independent of the discriminant analyses of macrohabitats.’
    • ‘Despite these high correlations, the analysis of discriminant validity shows that these are in fact three distinct constructs.’
    • ‘Although there is general agreement that service quality and satisfaction are distinct constructs, some researchers have had difficulty establishing the discriminant validity of the two constructs.’
    • ‘In order to assess significant characteristics of young people with different drug use patterns, discriminant analyses were also applied.’
    1. 1.1Mathematics A function of the coefficients of a polynomial equation whose value gives information about the roots of the polynomial.
      • ‘Laplace, in 1795, tried to prove the FTA using a completely different approach using the discriminant of a polynomial.’
      • ‘This led to several papers, culminating in a proof twelve years later of a conjecture of Siegel giving an asymptotic relationship satisfied by the class number, the regulator, and the discriminant of an algebraic number field.’
      • ‘Hensel was interested in the exact power of a prime which divides the discriminant of an algebraic number field.’
      • ‘The canonical discriminant function procedure was used for evaluating the overall discriminant regression equation.’
      • ‘Variable represents the discriminant of the cubic polynomial,’


Mid 19th century (in the sense showing discernment): from Latin discriminant- distinguishing between from the verb discriminare (see discriminate).