# Definition:Ansatz

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## Definition

An **Ansatz** is a guessed solution, or general form of a solution, to a mathematical problem.

A mathematician making the **Ansatz** will then attempt to prove that the **Ansatz** is indeed a solution to the original problem.

If he or she succeeds, the **Ansatz** is justified retroactively.

## Linguistic Note

The word **Ansatz** is German, and means **approach**, or **attempt**, or **beginning**.

In all cases, the implication is that this is a **first tentative step** towards finding a solution.

Also note that, when used in this context, the word always starts with an uppercase **A**.