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

  • n. The action for which a person or thing is particularly fitted or employed.
  • n. Assigned duty or activity.
  • n. A specific occupation or role: in my function as chief editor.
  • n. An official ceremony or a formal social occasion.
  • n. Something closely related to another thing and dependent on it for its existence, value, or significance: Growth is a function of nutrition.
  • n. Mathematics A variable so related to another that for each value assumed by one there is a value determined for the other.
  • n. Mathematics A rule of correspondence between two sets such that there is a unique element in the second set assigned to each element in the first set.
  • n. Biology The physiological activity of an organ or body part.
  • n. Chemistry The characteristic behavior of a chemical compound, resulting from the presence of a specific functional group.
  • n. Computer Science A procedure within an application.
  • intransitive v. To have or perform a function; serve: functioned as ambassador.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. What something does or is used for.
  • n. A professional or official position.
  • n. An official or social occasion.
  • n. A relation where one thing is dependent on another for its existence, value, or significance.
  • n. A relation in which each element of the domain is associated with exactly one element of the codomain.
  • n. A routine that receives zero or more arguments and may return a result.
  • n. The physiological activity of an organ or body part.
  • n. The characteristic behavior of a chemical compound.
  • n. The role of a social practice in the continued existence of the group.
  • v. to have a function
  • v. to carry on a function; to be in action

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of executing or performing any duty, office, or calling; performance.
  • n. The appropriate action of any special organ or part of an animal or vegetable organism
  • n. The natural or assigned action of any power or faculty, as of the soul, or of the intellect; the exertion of an energy of some determinate kind.
  • n. The course of action which peculiarly pertains to any public officer in church or state; the activity appropriate to any business or profession.
  • n. A quantity so connected with another quantity, that if any alteration be made in the latter there will be a consequent alteration in the former. Each quantity is said to be a function of the other. Thus, the circumference of a circle is a function of the diameter. If x be a symbol to which different numerical values can be assigned, such expressions as x2, 3x, Log. x, and Sin. x, are all functions of x.
  • n. A religious ceremony, esp. one particularly impressive and elaborate.
  • n. A public or social ceremony or gathering; a festivity or entertainment, esp. one somewhat formal.
  • intransitive v. To execute or perform a function; to transact one's regular or appointed business.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To perform a function; work; act; functionate; especially, in physiology, to have a function; do or be something physiologically.
  • n. Fulfilment or discharge of a set duty or requirement; exercise of a faculty or office.
  • n. Activity in general; action of any kind; behavior.
  • n. Power of acting; faculty; that power of acting in a specific way which appertains to a thing by virtue of its special constitution; that mode of action or operation which is proper to any organ, faculty, office, structure, etc.
  • n. That which one is bound or which is one's business to do; business; office; duty; employment.
  • n. An official ceremony.
  • n. Any important occasion marked by elaborate ceremonial: extended in recent use to cover social entertainments, as operas, balls, and receptions.
  • n. In mathematics, a mathematical quantity whose value depends upon the values of other quantities, called the arguments or independent variables of the function; a mathematical quantity whose changes of value depend on those of other quantities called its variables.
  • n. Hence, anything which is dependent for its value, significance, etc., upon something else.
  • n. See the adjectives.
  • n. see the adjectives.
  • n. See the adjectives.
  • n. One of several functions related to in the same manner in which ordinary elliptic functions are related to , being merely transformed elliptic functions.
  • n. See the adjectives.
  • n. a function such that the interval of the variable considered may be so divided into parts that the function is continuous, differentiable, etc., in each part.
  • n. In a generalized sense, a function which has its value unchanged by the substitution for its variable of a certain algebraic function thereof. A periodic function of the second kind is one for which this function is linear.
  • n. Two physical quantities whose several mathematical relations to two other physical quantities are the same.
  • n. which may, for instance, be either limited or unlimited.
  • n. See graph.
  • n. A function differing from that just defined by log/r.

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

  • n. a relation such that one thing is dependent on another
  • n. what something is used for
  • v. perform duties attached to a particular office or place or function
  • n. (mathematics) a mathematical relation such that each element of a given set (the domain of the function) is associated with an element of another set (the range of the function)
  • n. a vaguely specified social event
  • n. the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group
  • n. a formal or official social gathering or ceremony
  • v. perform as expected when applied
  • n. a set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program
  • v. serve a purpose, role, or function


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

Latin fūnctiō, fūnctiōn-, performance, execution, from fūnctus, past participle of fungī, to perform, execute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French function, from Old French fonction, from Latin functionem, accusative of function ("performance, execution"), from functus perfect participle of fungor ("I perform, I execute, I discharge").


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