from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to or involving combinations.
  • adj. Relating to the arrangement and counting of mathematical elements in sets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or involving combinations
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the combination and arrangement of elements in sets

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. able to combine; tending to combine.
  • adj. of or relating to combinations.
  • adj. produced by a process of combining; ; -- used especially in reference to mathematical or statistical processes of computing possible combinations.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Concerned with combinations.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. relating to the combination and arrangement of elements in sets
  • adj. relating to or involving combinations


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • We now have techniques, because of these rapid methods of synthesis, to do what we're calling combinatorial genomics.

    Craig Venter is on the verge of creating synthetic life

  • In a field called combinatorial chemistry, one subfield is called "phage display".

    NPR Topics: News

  • CHICAGO-A new twist on the ancient board game Go may clarify the complicated mathematics behind games like chess, suggests research from the mathematical field known as combinatorial game theory.

    Science News / Features, Blog Entries, Column Entries, Issues, News Items and Book Reviews

  • In this case, the substructure is an object known as a combinatorial line.

    Gowers's Weblog

  • They tried millions of different variations on how to graft (or splice) one onto the other, creating what are called combinatorial libraries.

    Health News from Medical News Today

  • All other novelty was simply combinatorial, meaning that with the number of determining genes large enough, there were presumably sufficient combinatorial classes possible to account for the shape of the normal curve of variation around the mean values for any given trait.


  • While there might be ways in which the details of Tipler's argument could be improved, the general point seems clearly right: the kind of combinatorial explosion that is required for a look-up tree for a human being is ruled out by the laws and boundary conditions that govern the operations of the physical world.

    The Turing Test

  • If any kind of combinatorial analysis of intrinsicness can work, we have to assume something like Hume's dictum that there are no necessary connections between distinct existences.

    Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Properties

  • In addition, some think that there may be a second kind of combinatorial mechanism, which combines concepts to form more complex concepts: e.g., it might combine the concepts MALE, ADULT, NOT and MARRIED to form the concept BACHELOR.

    Teleological Theories of Mental Content

  • Until recently, the confounding complexity of proteins demanded a "combinatorial" approach to protein design: Vast libraries of protein variants are repeatedly screened to select for molecules with desirable properties in a process known as directed evolution.



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