Use for questions related to commutative rings that can be endowed with a Euclidean function, which allows a suitable generalization of the Euclidean division of the integers.

A Euclidean domain (also called a Euclidean ring) is a commutative ring that can be endowed with a Euclidean function, which allows a suitable generalization of the Euclidean division of the integers. This generalized Euclidean algorithm can be put to many of the same uses as Euclid's original algorithm in the ring of integers: in any Euclidean domain, one can apply the Euclidean algorithm to compute the greatest common divisor of any two elements. In particular, the greatest common divisor of any two elements exists and can be written as a linear combination of them (Bézout's identity). Moreover, every ideal in a Euclidean domain is principal, which implies a suitable generalization of the fundamental theorem of arithmetic: every Euclidean domain is a unique factorization domain.

It is important to compare the class of Euclidean domains with the larger class of principal ideal domains (PIDs). An arbitrary PID has much the same "structural properties" of a Euclidean domain (or, indeed, even of the ring of integers), but when an explicit algorithm for Euclidean division is known, one may use the Euclidean and extended Euclidean algorithms to compute greatest common divisors and the quantities in Bézout's identity. In particular, the existence of efficient algorithms for Euclidean division of integers and of polynomials in one variable over a field is of basic importance in computer algebra.

So, given an integral domain *R*, it is often very useful to know whether *R* has a Euclidean function: if so, that implies that *R* is a PID. If there is no "obvious" Euclidean function, however, then determining whether *R* is a PID is generally a much easier problem than determining whether it is a Euclidean domain.

Euclidean domains appear in the following chain of class inclusions:

commutative rings ⊃ integral domains ⊃ integrally closed domains ⊃ GCD domains ⊃ unique factorization domains ⊃ principal ideal domains ⊃ **Euclidean domains** ⊃ fields ⊃ finite fields