permutation

[pur-myoo-tey-shuhn]

noun

the act of permuting or permutating; alteration; transformation.
Mathematics.
  1. the act of changing the order of elements arranged in a particular order, as abc into acb, bac, etc., or of arranging a number of elements in groups made up of equal numbers of the elements in different orders, as a and b in ab and ba; a one-to-one transformation of a set with a finite number of elements.
  2. any of the resulting arrangements or groups.Compare combination(def 8b).

Nearby words

  1. permit,
  2. permittee,
  3. permittivity,
  4. permonosulfuric acid,
  5. permutate,
  6. permutation group,
  7. permute,
  8. pernambuco,
  9. pernancy,
  10. pernicious

Origin of permutation

1325–75; Middle English permutacioun (< Middle French permutacion) < Latin permūtātiōn- (stem of permūtātiō) thoroughgoing change. See per-, mutation, permute

Related formsper·mu·ta·tion·al, adjectiveper·mu·ta·tion·ist, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for permutation


British Dictionary definitions for permutation

permutation

noun

maths
  1. an ordered arrangement of the numbers, terms, etc, of a set into specified groupsthe permutations of a, b, and c, taken two at a time, are ab, ba, ac, ca, bc, cb
  2. a group formed in this way. The number of permutations of n objects taken r at a time is n !/(nr)!Symbol: n P r Compare combination (def. 6)
a combination of items made by reordering
an alteration; transformation
a fixed combination for selections of results on football poolsUsually shortened to: perm
Derived Formspermutational, adjective

Word Origin for permutation

C14: from Latin permūtātiō, from permūtāre to change thoroughly; see mutation

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 permutation

permutation

n.

mid-14c., from Old French permutacion "change, shift" (14c.), from Latin permutationem (nominative permutatio) "a change, alteration, revolution," noun of action from past participle stem of permutare "change thoroughly, exchange," from per- "thoroughly" (see per) + mutare "to change" (see mutable).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper