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parameter Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a constant in the equation of a curve that can be varied to yield a family of similar curves
    parametric quantity.
  2. noun any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performance
  3. noun (computer science) a reference or value that is passed to a function, procedure, subroutine, command, or program
  4. noun a quantity (such as the mean or variance) that characterizes a statistical population and that can be estimated by calculations from sample data

Pa*ram"e*ter noun
Pref. para- + -meter: cf. F. paramètre.
  1. (a) (Math.) A term applied to some characteristic magnitude whose value, invariable as long as one and the same function, curve, surface, etc., is considered, serves to distinguish that function, curve, surface, etc., from others of the same kind or family. Brande & C. (b) Specifically (Conic Sections), in the ellipse and hyperbola, a third proportional to any diameter and its conjugate, or in the parabola, to any abscissa and the corresponding ordinate. ✍ The parameter of the principal axis of a conic section is called the latus rectum.
  2. (Crystallog.) The ratio of the three crystallographic axes which determines the position of any plane; also, the fundamental axial ratio for a given species.

Webster 1913