Vocabulary Chapter 9

By: Anand Singh


A parabola is a curve where any point is at an equal distance from a point and a fixed straight line. The equation usually has a squared sign in it indicating a parabola.

Ex: An equation that creates a parabola is y= x^2-4


An equation where the highest exponent of the variable(usually "x") is a square (2). The standard form of a quadratic equation is ax^2+bx+c=0

Ex: 2x^2+5x+20


A point where two or more straight lines meet or the minimum or maximum point of a quadratic function.

Ex: The red dot represents the vertex of the parabolas.

axis of symmetry

A line that runs down the center of a parabola and splits the parabola in half.

Ex: The axis of symmetry is x=1 for the example to the right because the parabola runs through x=0-2 and the middle of that is 1.

Maximum Value

The highest point on a parabola when the parabola is an upside down u-shape.

Ex: The maximum value of this graph located to the right is at the coordinates (1,1)

Minimum Value

The Lowest point of a parabola when the parabola is a straight side up in the shape of a "u".

Ex: The minimum value on this graph is located at the coordinates (1,3).


A term is a letter, a number, or a letter and a number being multiplied together.

Ex: 5a,x,6,17c

First Differences

The first difference is calculated by finding the difference between consecutive terms.

Ex: 1,2,4,7 The first difference is 1,2, and 3.

Second Differences

The second difference is obtained by taking the difference between consecutive first differences.

Ex: 1.2,3,4

The second difference is 1.


When plugged into the quadratic equation the y equals to a value of zero.

Ex: -2 and 2 are the zeros of the function x^2 - 4