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noun func·tion \ˈfəŋ(k)-shən\

: the special purpose or activity for which a thing exists or is used

: the job or duty of a person

: a large ceremony or social event

Full Definition of FUNCTION

:  professional or official position :  occupation
:  the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists :  purpose
:  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
:  an official or formal ceremony or social gathering
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>
:  characteristic behavior of a chemical compound due to a particular reactive unit; also :  functional group
:  a computer subroutine; specifically :  one that performs a calculation with variables provided by a program and supplies the program with a single result
func·tion·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of FUNCTION

  1. The function of the heart is to pump blood through the body.
  2. He believes that the true function of art is to tell the truth.
  3. What functions do these programs fulfill?
  4. infants learning to control their bodily functions
  5. The instrument is chiefly used to measure and record heart function.
  6. The design achieves a perfect blend of form and function.
  7. His job combines the functions of a manager and a worker.
  8. Her chief function is to provide expert legal advice.
  9. They went to several functions during their college reunion weekend.

Origin of FUNCTION

Latin function-, functio performance, from fungi to perform; probably akin to Sanskrit bhuṅkte he enjoys
First Known Use: 1533

Synonym Discussion of FUNCTION

function, office, duty, province mean the acts or operations expected of a person or thing. function implies a definite end or purpose or a particular kind of work <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 associated with 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>.



: to work or operate

: to have a specified function, role, or purpose

func·tionedfunc·tion·ing \-sh(ə-)niŋ\

Full Definition of FUNCTION

intransitive verb
:  to have a function :  serve <an attributive noun functions as an adjective>
:  to carry on a function or be in action :  operate

Examples of FUNCTION

  1. The new machine functions well.
  2. His bad health has prevented him from being able to function effectively in recent weeks.
  3. Her heart now seems to be functioning normally.
  4. The computer network is not yet fully functioning.

First Known Use of FUNCTION

FUNCTIONED Defined for Kids


noun func·tion \ˈfəŋk-shən\

Definition of FUNCTION for Kids

:  the action for which a person or thing is designed or used :  purpose <What function does this tool serve?>
:  a large important ceremony or social affair
:  a mathematical relationship that assigns exactly one element of one set to each element of the same or another set



Definition of FUNCTION for Kids

:  to serve a certain purpose :  work <The new machine functions well.> <The couch can also function as a bed.>


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