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[kom-buh-ney-shuh n] /ˌkɒm bəˈneɪ ʃən/
the act of combining or the state of being combined.
a number of things combined:
a combination of ideas.
something formed by combining:
A chord is a combination of notes.
an alliance of persons or parties:
a combination in restraint of trade.
the set or series of numbers or letters used in setting the mechanism of a combination lock.
the parts of the mechanism operated by this.
Often, combinations. a suit of underwear in one piece.
  1. the arrangement of elements into various groups without regard to their order in the group.
  2. a group thus formed.
    Compare permutation (def 1).
Origin of combination
1350-1400; Middle English combinacyoun (< Middle French) < Late Latin combīnātiōn- (stem of combīnātiō), equivalent to combīnāt(us) combined (see combine, -ate1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
combinational, adjective
intercombination, noun
noncombination, noun
precombination, noun
supercombination, noun
uncombinational, adjective
1. association, conjunction, union, coalescence, blending. 2. mixture, amalgamation, amalgam. 4. association, federation, league, coalition, cartel, combine, monopoly, bloc, cabal, conspiracy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for combination


the act of combining or state of being combined
a union of separate parts, qualities, etc
an alliance of people or parties; group having a common purpose
  1. the set of numbers that opens a combination lock
  2. the mechanism of this type of lock
(Brit) a motorcycle with a sidecar attached
  1. an arrangement of the numbers, terms, etc, of a set into specified groups without regard to order in the group: the combinations of a, b, and c, taken two at a time, are ab, bc, ac
  2. a group formed in this way. The number of combinations of n objects taken r at a time is n!/[(nr)!r!]. Symbol: nCr Compare permutation (sense 1)
the chemical reaction of two or more compounds, usually to form one other compound
(chess) a tactical manoeuvre involving a sequence of moves and more than one piece
See also combinations
Derived Forms
combinational, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for combination

late 14c., combinacyoun, from Old French combination (14c., Modern French combinaison), from Late Latin combinationem (nominative combinatio) "a joining two by two," noun of action from past participle stem of combinare (see combine (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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combination in Technology

1. A set containing a certain number of objects selected from another set.
The number of combinations of r objects chosen from a set of n is
n C r = n! / ((n-r)! r!)
where "n C r" is normally with n and r as subscripts or as n above r in parentheses.
See also permutation.
2. In the theory of combinators, a combination denotes an expression in which function application is the only operation.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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