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function definition


This page has 14 definitions of function in English and Middle French. Function is a noun and verb. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English function definition


From Middle French function, from Old French fonction, from Latin functiō (performance, execution), from functus, perfect participle of fungor (to perform, execute, discharge), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰewg- (to enjoy).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfʌŋ(k)ʃən/, /ˈfʌŋkʃn̩/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈfʌŋkʃən/, [ˈfʌŋkʃɪ̈n], [ˈfʌŋkʃn̩]
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: func‧tion
  • Rhymes: -ʌŋkʃən


function (plural functions)

  1. What something does or is used for.
    • 2013 May-June, Katrina G. Claw, “Rapid Evolution in Eggs and Sperm”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
      Many genes with reproductive roles also have antibacterial and immune functions, which indicate that the threat of microbial attack on the sperm or egg may be a major influence on rapid evolution during reproduction.
    Synonyms: aim, intention, purpose, role, use
  2. A professional or official position.
    Synonyms: occupation, office, part, role
  3. An official or social occasion.
    Synonyms: affair, occasion, social occasion, social function
  4. Something which is dependent on or stems from another thing; a result or concomitant.
    • 2008 June 1, A. Dirk Moses, “Preface”, in Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History, Berghahn Books, →ISBN, page x:
      Though most of the cases here cover European encounters with non-Europeans, it is not the intention of the book to give the impression that genocide is a function of European colonialism and imperialism alone.
  5. A relation where one thing is dependent on another for its existence, value, or significance.
  6. (mathematics) A relation in which each element of the domain is associated with exactly one element of the codomain.
    Synonyms: map, mapping, mathematical function, operator, transformation
    Hypernym: relation
  7. (computing) A routine that receives zero or more arguments and may return a result.
    Synonyms: procedure, routine, subprogram, subroutine, func, funct
  8. (biology) The physiological activity of an organ or body part.
  9. (chemistry) The characteristic behavior of a chemical compound.
  10. (anthropology) The role of a social practice in the continued existence of the group.


The terms below need to be checked and allocated to the definitions (senses) of the headword above. Each term should appear in the sense for which it is appropriate. For synonyms and antonyms you may use the templates {{syn|en|...}} or {{ant|en|...}}.
astronomy: Hyponyms of function
  • (chemistry): acidity function
  • computing: Hyponyms of function
    logic: Hyponyms of function
    management: Hyponyms of function
    mathematics: Hyponyms of function
    physics: Hyponyms of function
  • (psychology): executive ego function
  • (signal processing): spectral density function/spectral function
  • (systems theory): control function
  • Derived terms

    terms derived from function

    Related terms

    terms derived from function




    function (third-person singular simple present functions, present participle functioning, simple past and past participle functioned)

    1. (intransitive) To have a function.
      Synonyms: officiate, serve
    2. (intransitive) To carry out a function; to be in action.
      Synonyms: go, operate, run, work
      Antonym: malfunction

    Related terms


    Middle French function definition


    function f (plural functions)

    1. function (what something's intended use is)