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# Differential coefficient

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In mathematics, **differential coefficient** is a term out of use now. The former *differential coefficient* of a function *f*(*x*) is now called its derivative *df*(*x*)/*dx*. It is the (not necessarily constant) multiplicative factor or *coefficient* of the differential *dx* in the differential *df*(*x*).

The differential coefficient of *f* is a constant function only if *f* is a linear function.

Early editions of Silvanus P. Thompson's *Calculus Made Easy* use the older term. In his 1998 update of this text, Martin Gardner puts "derivative" instead of "differential coefficient". He speaks of it only in context with Thompson's criticism of the term.