I. noun Etymology: Latin function-, functio performance, from fungi to perform; probably akin to Sanskrit bhuṅkte he enjoys Date: 1533 1. professional or official position ; occupation 2. the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists ; purpose 3. any of a group of related actions contributing to a larger action; especially the normal and specific contribution of a bodily part to the economy of a living organism 4. an official or formal ceremony or social gathering 5. a. a mathematical correspondence that assigns exactly one element of one set to each element of the same or another set b. a variable (as a quality, trait, or measurement) that depends on and varies with another <
height is a function of age
; also result <
illnesses that are a function of stress
6. characteristic behavior of a chemical compound due to a particular reactive unit; also functional group 7. a computer subroutine; specifically one that performs a calculation with variables provided by a program and supplies the program with a single result • functionless adjective Synonyms: function, office, duty, province mean the acts or operations expected of a person or thing. function implies a definite end or purpose that the one in question serves or a particular kind of work it is intended to perform <
the function of language is two-fold: to communicate emotion and to give information — Aldous Huxley
. office is typically applied to the function or service expected of a person by reason of a trade or profession or a special relationship to others <
they exercise the offices of the judge, the priest, the counsellor — W. E. Gladstone
. duty applies to a task or responsibility imposed by one's occupation, rank, status, or calling <
it is the judicial duty of the court, to examine the whole case — R. B. Taney
. province applies to a function, office, or duty that naturally or logically falls to one <
I felt it was not my province to inquire — Anne Brontë
. II. intransitive verb (functioned; functioning) Date: 1856 1. to have a function ; serve <
an attributive noun functions as an adjective
2. to carry on a function or be in action ; operate <
a government functions through numerous divisions

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • Function — Func tion, n. [L. functio, fr. fungi to perform, execute, akin to Skr. bhuj to enjoy, have the use of: cf. F. fonction. Cf. {Defunct}.] 1. The act of executing or performing any duty, office, or calling; performance. In the function of his public …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • function — n 1 Function, office, duty, province are comparable when they mean the act, acts, activities, or operations expected of a person or thing by virtue of his or its nature, structure, status, or position. Function is the most comprehensive of these… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • function — 1. The noun has a number of technical meanings in mathematics and information technology, and has acquired general meanings that caused Fowler (1926) to categorize it as a popularized technicality. As a noun, it is often used somewhat… …   Modern English usage

  • function — [fuŋk′shən] n. [OFr < L functio < pp. of fungi, to perform < IE base * bheug , to enjoy > Sans bhuṅktē, (he) enjoys] 1. the normal or characteristic action of anything; esp., any of the natural, specialized actions of a system, organ …   English World dictionary

  • Function — may refer to:* Function (biology), explaining why a feature survived selection * Function (mathematics), an abstract entity that associates an input to a corresponding output according to some rule * Function (engineering), related to the… …   Wikipedia

  • function — I noun appropriate activity, assignment, business, chore, design, duty, employment, exploitation, mission, munus, occupation, office, officium, performance, purpose, pursuit, responsibility, role, task, usage, use, utility, work associated… …   Law dictionary

  • Functĭon — (v. lat. Functio), 1) Verrichtung; Amtsverrichtung; daher Functioniren, ein Amt verrichten; 2) nach Kant die Einheit der Handlung, verschiedene Vorstellungen unter eine gemeinschaftliche zu ordnen; 3) die naturgemäße Thätigkeit eines Organs; 4)… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • function — [n1] capacity, job action, activity, affair, behavior, business, charge, concern, duty, employment, exercise, faculty, goal, mark, mission, object, objective, occupation, office, operation, part, post, power, province, purpose, raison d’être*,… …   New thesaurus

  • function — ► NOUN 1) an activity that is natural to or the purpose of a person or thing. 2) a large or formal social event or ceremony. 3) a computer operation corresponding to a single instruction from the user. 4) Mathematics a relation or expression… …   English terms dictionary

  • Function — Func tion (f[u^][ng]k sh[u^]n), Functionate Func tion*ate, v. i. To execute or perform a function; to transact one s regular or appointed business. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • function — function, functionalism Although the use of the concepts of function and functionalism is usually associated with the work of Talcott Parsons in modern sociology, there is a long tradition of functional explanation in studying societies, and a… …   Dictionary of sociology

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