Quadratics Vocabulary

Jamie Kimbrell


The shape of the graph of a quadratic equation. An example is the path of a baseball.


An equation with four terms that can be written as ax^2+bx+c=d. An example is the trajectory of a basketball when it is shot.


A quadratic function written in the form f(x)=a(x-h)^2+k where a, h, and k are all constants and (h,k) is the vertex; the points of symmetry. An example is the middle of a rainbow from earth.

Axis of Symmetry

A line that divides a parabola into two symmetrical halves. An example would be the trajectory of a dolphin's jump.

Maximum Value

The y-value of the vertex when a parabola opens downward. An example is the point at the base of a roller coaster.

Minimum Value

The y-value of the vertex when the parabola opens upward. An example is the peak of the mountain.


The parts of an expression that are manipulated.

First Differences

The differences between y-values or a function for evenly spaced x-values. The amount of spaces between each bird sitting on the power lines.

Second Differences

Differences between the first differences of a function. An example is the amount of space between two lines such as the space between television cables that intersect.


The coordinates of the points where the segment intercepts the x axis. An example is an intersection.