# Indeterminate (variable)

In mathematics, particularly in formal algebra, an **indeterminate** is a symbol that is treated as a variable, does not stand for anything else except itself, and is often used as a placeholder in objects such as polynomials and formal power series.^{[1]}^{[2]} In particular:

are unequal, since 2 does not equal 5, and 3 does not equal 2. In fact,

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