The discriminant is a value that is found by doing "b squared minus 4ac" of a quadratic function, which you'll recognize as part of the quadratic formula. The discriminant tells us how many solutions a quadratic function has (but not what those solutions actually are.) If the discriminant value is positive, then you'll have two real solutions, if the discriminant is zero then you'll have one real solution, and if the discriminant is negative, then there will be no real solutions. This can help you with graphing, as well, since the real solutions will show up as the x-intercepts.
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