the kind of action or activity proper to a person, thing, or institution; the purpose for which something is designed or exists; role.
any ceremonious public or social gathering or occasion.
a factor related to or dependent upon other factors: Price is a function of supply and demand.
Also called mul·ti·ple-val·ue func·tion [muhl-tuh-puhl-val-yoo fuhngk-shuhn]. /ˈmʌl tə pəlˈvæl yu ˈfʌŋk ʃən/. a relation between two sets in which two or more elements of the second set are assigned to each element of the first set, as y2 = x2, which assigns to every x the two values y = +x and y = −x.
a set of ordered pairs in which none of the first elements of the pairs appears twice.
a relationship in which an input value of a variable has a specifically calculated output value: for example, if the function of x is x2, the output will always be the square of whatever the value of x is. Abbreviations: f, F
a formula expressing a relation between the angles of a triangle and its sides, as sine or cosine.
the grammatical role a linguistic form has or the position it occupies in a particular construction.
the grammatical roles or the positions of a linguistic form or form class collectively.
Sociology. the contribution made by a sociocultural phenomenon to an ongoing social system.
to perform a specified action or activity; work; operate: The computer isn't functioning now. He rarely functions before noon.
to have or exercise a function; serve: In earlier English the present tense often functioned as a future. This orange crate can function as a chair.
- in·ter·func·tion, adjective
- mul·ti·func·tion, adjective
- non·func·tion·ing, adjective
- o·ver·func·tion·ing, adjective
- pre·func·tion, noun
- re·func·tion, verb (used without object)
- sub·func·tion, noun
- su·per·func·tion, noun
- un·func·tion·ing, adjective
- well-func·tion·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use function in a sentence
Not every website has one, and even the ones that do have very surface-level functions.How to drive digital innovation necessary during the pandemic | Nick Chasinov | September 16, 2020 | Search Engine Watch
In part, this was a function of some remaining uncertainty about how the virus spread most effectively.Parsing Trump’s baffling, head-slapping comments on mask-wearing | Philip Bump | September 16, 2020 | Washington Post
Excipients are critical materials and serve a broad variety of functions.The ‘inactive' ingredients in your pills could harm you | By Yelena Ionova/The Conversation | September 15, 2020 | Popular-Science
For example, shipping, and social listening sound like siloed functions, but actually they’re closely related.Deep Dive: How the Summer of 2020 forced brand marketing to change for the better | jim cooper | September 14, 2020 | Digiday
That’s because daily exercise not only helps kids stay physically and emotionally healthy, it also boosts cognitive function.
But the copper performs another important function: working as a catalyst in the distillation process.When It Comes to Great Whisky, The Size of Your Still Matters | | December 9, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The iPad was an even bigger hit, especially as it had a new function that allowed him to play the drawing back.
Openness might be a function of sexuality and gender, as well.Coming Out Kinky to Your Doctor, in Black and Blue | Heather Boerner | October 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Entitled “Please Go Home,” the parody stars Daniel Franzese, best known as the “too gay to function” Damian from Mean Girls.Anime Hologram Pop Stars, Return of ‘Fresh Prince’ Carlton, and More Viral Videos | Alex Chancey | October 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Sex is a basic human function; a physiological drive we cannot ignore.Christian Right-Wingers Love Porn: New Studies Suggest the Bible Belt Has A Kinky Side | Aurora Snow | October 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
To prevent intruders or extruders from withdrawing his mind from the text, he exercises the Inhibitory function of the Attention.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
Little girls perhaps represent the attractive function of adornment: they like to be thought pretty.Children's Ways | James Sully
This is hardly a function—parties even in the big political country-houses are more or less informal.Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
No definite proof of this position has, however, as yet been adduced, and the function of the compound is entirely unknown.Elements of Agricultural Chemistry | Thomas Anderson
After the formal proclamation was issued the function terminated with a banquet given to 200 insurgent notabilities.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
British Dictionary definitions for function
the natural action or intended purpose of a person or thing in a specific role: the function of a hammer is to hit nails into wood
an official or formal social gathering or ceremony
a factor dependent upon another or other factors: the length of the flight is a function of the weather
Also called: map, mapping maths logic a relation between two sets that associates a unique element (the value) of the second (the range) with each element (the argument) of the first (the domain): a many-one relation. Symbol: f(x) The value of f(x) for x = 2 is f(2)
to operate or perform as specified; work properly
(foll by as) to perform the action or role (of something or someone else): a coin may function as a screwdriver
- functionless, 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
Scientific definitions for function
A relationship between two sets that matches each member of the first set with a unique member of the second set. Functions are often expressed as an equation, such as y = x + 5, meaning that y is a function of x such that for any value of x, the value of y will be 5 greater than x.
A quantity whose value depends on the value given to one or more related quantities. For example, the area of a square is a function of the length of its sides.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for function
In mathematics, a quantity whose value is determined by the value of some other quantity. For example, “The yield of this field is a function of the amount of fertilizer applied” means that a given amount of fertilizer will yield an amount of whatever crop is growing.
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.