[al-guh-rith-uh m]


a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor.

Nearby words

  1. algophilia,
  2. algophobia,
  3. algor,
  4. algor mortis,
  5. algorism,
  6. algorithmic,
  7. algorithmic language,
  8. algovascular,
  9. algraphic,
  10. algraphy

Origin of algorithm

1890–95; variant of algorism, by association with Greek arithmós number. See arithmetic

Related formsal·go·rith·mic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for algorithmic



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 Formsalgorithmic, 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

Word Origin and History for algorithmic
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for algorithmic




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.

Science definitions for algorithmic



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.

Culture definitions for algorithmic



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.