like addition - you add such and such and keep exponents.. stuff like that

A polynomial looks like this:

Polynomial comes from poly- (meaning "many") and -nomial (in this case meaning "term") ... so it says "many terms"

A polynomial can have:

that can be combined using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division ...

... except ...

So:

A polynomial can have constants, variables and exponents, but never division by a variable.

These arepolynomials:

(Yes, even "5" is a polynomial, one term is allowed, and it can even be just a constant!)

And these are not polynomials

But these are allowed:

There are special names for polynomials with 1, 2 or 3 terms:

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