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In mathematics and other formal sciences, first-order or first order most often means either:

  • "linear" (a polynomial of degree at most one), as in first-order approximation and other calculus uses, where it is contrasted with "polynomials of higher degree", or
  • "without self-reference", as in first-order logic and other logic uses, where it is contrasted with "allowing some self-reference" (higher-order logic)

In detail, it may refer to:


Differential equations[edit]



Computer science[edit]

Other uses[edit]

See also[edit]