- the act of permuting or permutating; alteration; transformation.
- the act of changing the order of elements arranged in a particular order, as abc into acb, bac, etc., or of arranging a number of elements in groups made up of equal numbers of the elements in different orders, as a and b in ab and ba; a one-to-one transformation of a set with a finite number of elements.
- any of the resulting arrangements or groups.Compare combination(def 8b).
Origin of permutation
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for permutation
What artifice can we then employ to provoke this second permutation?
The first permutation makes the second seem very probable, although I cannot as yet conceive a means of realizing it.
This indicates the distinction between the permutation of letters and the transition of letters.The English Language
Robert Gordon Latham
It is clear how very different the results would become by the permutation and combination of these diverse factors.Life Movements in Plants
Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
He is not a permutation and combination of old elements, transferred through the parents.Fantasia of the Unconscious
D. H. Lawrence
- an ordered arrangement of the numbers, terms, etc, of a set into specified groupsthe permutations of a, b, and c, taken two at a time, are ab, ba, ac, ca, bc, cb
- a group formed in this way. The number of permutations of n objects taken r at a time is n !/(n – r)!Symbol: n P r Compare combination (def. 6)
- a combination of items made by reordering
- an alteration; transformation
- a fixed combination for selections of results on football poolsUsually shortened to: perm
Word Origin and History for permutation
mid-14c., from Old French permutacion "change, shift" (14c.), from Latin permutationem (nominative permutatio) "a change, alteration, revolution," noun of action from past participle stem of permutare "change thoroughly, exchange," from per- "thoroughly" (see per) + mutare "to change" (see mutable).