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function Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun (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)
    single-valued function; mathematical function; mapping; map.
  2. noun what something is used for
    use; role; purpose.
    • the function of an auger is to bore holes
    • ballet is beautiful but what use is it?
  3. noun the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group
    part; role; office.
    • the function of a teacher
    • the government must do its part
    • play its role
  4. noun a relation such that one thing is dependent on another
    • height is a function of age
    • price is a function of supply and demand
  5. noun a formal or official social gathering or ceremony
    • it was a black-tie function
  6. noun a vaguely specified social event
    affair; social occasion; social function; occasion.
    • the party was quite an affair
    • an occasion arranged to honor the president
    • a seemingly endless round of social functions
  7. noun a set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program
    subprogram; subroutine; procedure; routine.
  8. verb perform as expected when applied
    go; work; run; operate.
    • The washing machine won't go unless it's plugged in
    • Does this old car still run well?
    • This old radio doesn't work anymore
  9. verb serve a purpose, role, or function
    • The tree stump serves as a table
    • The female students served as a control group
    • This table would serve very well
    • His freedom served him well
    • The table functions as a desk
  10. verb perform duties attached to a particular office or place or function
    • His wife officiated as his private secretary

Func"tion noun
L. functio, fr. fungi to perform, execute, akin to Skr. bhuj to enjoy, have the use of: cf. F. fonction. Cf. Defunct.
  1. The act of executing or performing any duty, office, or calling; per formance. "In the function of his public calling." Swift.
  2. (Physiol.) The appropriate action of any special organ or part of an animal or vegetable organism; as, the function of the heart or the limbs; the function of leaves, sap, roots, etc.; life is the sum of the functions of the various organs and parts of the body.
  3. 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.
    As the mind opens, and its functions spread. Pope.
  4. The course of action which peculiarly pertains to any public officer in church or state; the activity appropriate to any business or profession.
    Tradesmen . . . going about their functions. Shak.
    The malady which made him incapable of performing his regal functions. Macaulay.
  5. (Math.) 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.
Func"tion, Func"tion*ate intransitive verb (Also<
  • Function
  • Functionate
  1. To execute or perform a function; to transact one's regular or appointed business.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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