indeterminate
An indeterminate^{} is simply a variable^{} that is not known or solvable. It is usually denoted by a mathematical alphabet ($x$, $y$, $z$, or $\alpha $, $\beta $, etc…). It is important to distinguish between a variable and an indeterminate in that a variable is solvable, at least conditionally. To make this more precise, let’s see two examples:

1.
Let $x$ be a variable such that $2+3x=a+bx$, where $a,b\in \mathbb{Q}$. Then $x=(a2)/(3b)$. Here $x$ is solvable conditioned on the equation given. Any values of $a$ and $b\phantom{\rule{veryverythickmathspace}{0ex}}(\ne 3)$ will yield a value for $x$.

2.
Let $x$ be an indeterminate such that $2+3x=a+bx$, where $a,b\in \mathbb{Q}$. Since $x$ can not be solved, we have $2=a$ and $3=b$. Note that if $a$ and $b$ are previously assigned to be values other than 2 and 3 respectively, then $x$ is no longer an indeterminate.
Title  indeterminate 

Canonical name  Indeterminate 
Date of creation  20130322 14:47:33 
Last modified on  20130322 14:47:33 
Owner  CWoo (3771) 
Last modified by  CWoo (3771) 
Numerical id  5 
Author  CWoo (3771) 
Entry type  Definition 
Classification  msc 00A05 
Related topic  Parameter 