algorithm

[ al-guh-rith-uhm ]
/ ˈæl gəˌrɪð əm /

noun

Mathematics. a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as the Euclidean algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor.
Computers. an ordered set of instructions recursively applied to transform data input into processed data output, as a mathematical solution, descriptive statistics, internet search engine result, or predictive text suggestions.

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Origin of algorithm

First recorded in 1690–1700; variant of algorism, by association with Greek arithmós “number”; see arithmetic

OTHER WORDS FROM algorithm

al·go·rith·mic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for algorithm

British Dictionary definitions for algorithm

algorithm
/ (ˈælɡəˌrɪðəm) /

noun

a logical arithmetical or computational procedure that if correctly applied ensures the solution of a problemCompare heuristic
logic maths a recursive procedure whereby an infinite sequence of terms can be generated
French name: algorism

Derived forms of algorithm

algorithmic, adjectivealgorithmically, adverb

Word Origin for algorithm

C17: changed from algorism, through influence of Greek arithmos number
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

Medical definitions for algorithm

algorithm
[ ălgə-rĭð′əm ]

n.

A step-by-step protocol, as for management of health care problems.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for algorithm

algorithm
[ ălgə-rĭð′əm ]

A finite set of unambiguous instructions performed in a prescribed sequence to achieve a goal, especially a mathematical rule or procedure used to compute a desired result. Algorithms are the basis for most computer programming.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for algorithm

algorithm
[ (al-guh-rith-uhm) ]

A set of instructions for solving a problem, especially on a computer. An algorithm for finding your total grocery bill, for example, would direct you to add up the costs of individual items to find the total.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.