# algorithm

[ al-guh-rith-uhm ]

/ ˈæl gəˌrɪð əm /

Save This Word!

noun

Mathematics. a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, such 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, such as a mathematical solution, search engine result, descriptive statistics, or predictive text suggestions.

QUIZ

CAN YOU ANSWER THESE COMMON GRAMMAR DEBATES?

There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?

Question 1 of 7

Which sentence is correct?

## 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 [al-guh-rith-mik], /ˌæl gəˈrɪð mɪk/, adjectiveDictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

## How to use algorithm in a sentence

## 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

## Scientific definitions for algorithm

algorithm

[ ăl′gə-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.