# parameter

### noun

- a constant or variable term in a function that determines the specific form of the function but not its general nature, as a in f(x) = ax, where a determines only the slope of the line described by f(x).
- one of the independent variables in a set of parametric equations.

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## Origin of parameter

## Usage note

## Examples from the Web for parameters

## British Dictionary definitions for parameters

## parameter

### noun

## Word Origin for parameter

## Word Origin and History for parameters

## parameter

1650s in geometry, from Modern Latin parameter (1630s), from Greek para- "beside, subsidiary" (see para- (1)) + metron "measure" (see meter (n.2)).

A geometry term until 1920s when it yielded sense of "measurable factor which helps to define a particular system" (1927). Common modern meaning (influenced by perimeter) of "boundary, limit, characteristic factor" is from 1950s. Related: Parametric.

## Medicine definitions for parameters

## parameter

### n.

## Culture definitions for parameters

## parameter

A quantity or number on which some other quantity or number depends. An informal example is, “Depending on the traffic, it takes me between twenty minutes and an hour to drive to work”; here, “traffic” is the parameter that determines the time it takes to get to work. In statistics, a parameter is an unknown characteristic of a population — for example, the number of women in a particular precinct who will vote Democratic.