In mathematics, a GCD domain is an integral domain R with the property that any two elements have a greatest common divisor (GCD); i.e., there is a unique minimal principal ideal containing the ideal generated by two given elements. Equivalently, any two elements of R have a least common multiple (LCM).
A GCD domain generalizes a unique factorization domain (UFD) to a non-Noetherian setting in the following sense: an integral domain is a UFD if and only if it is a GCD domain satisfying the ascending chain condition on principal ideals (and in particular if it is Noetherian).
GCD domains appear in the following chain of class inclusions:
Every irreducible element of a GCD domain is prime. A GCD domain is integrally closed, and every nonzero element is primal. In other words, every GCD domain is a Schreier domain.
For every pair of elements x, y of a GCD domain R, a GCD d of x and y and an LCM m of x and y can be chosen such that dm = xy, or stated differently, if x and y are nonzero elements and d is any GCD d of x and y, then xy/d is an LCM of x and y, and vice versa. It follows that the operations of GCD and LCM make the quotient R/~ into a distributive lattice, where "~" denotes the equivalence relation of being associate elements. The equivalence between the existence of GCDs and the existence of LCMs is not a corollary of the similar result on complete lattices, as the quotient R/~ need not be a complete lattice for a GCD domain R.
If R is a GCD domain, then the polynomial ring R[X1,...,Xn] is also a GCD domain.
R is a GCD domain if and only if finite intersections of its principal ideals are principal. In particular, , where is the LCM of and .
For a polynomial in X over a GCD domain, one can define its content as the GCD of all its coefficients. Then the content of a product of polynomials is the product of their contents, as expressed by Gauss's lemma, which is valid over GCD domains.