parameter


pa·ram·e·ter

noun \pə-ˈram-ə-tər\

: a rule or limit that controls what something is or how something should be done

Full Definition of PARAMETER

1
a :  an arbitrary constant whose value characterizes a member of a system (as a family of curves); also :  a quantity (as a mean or variance) that describes a statistical population
b :  an independent variable used to express the coordinates of a variable point and functions of them — compare parametric equation
2
:  any of a set of physical properties whose values determine the characteristics or behavior of something <parameters of the atmosphere such as temperature, pressure, and density>
3
:  something represented by a parameter :  a characteristic element; broadly :  characteristic, element, factor <political dissent as a parameter of modern life>
4
:  limit, boundary —usually used in plural <the parameters of science fiction>
para·met·ric \ˌpa-rə-ˈme-trik\ adjective
para·met·ri·cal·ly \-tri-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Origin of PARAMETER

New Latin, from para- + Greek metron measure — more at measure
First Known Use: 1852

Other Mathematics and Statistics Terms

abscissa, denominator, divisor, equilateral, exponent, hypotenuse, logarithm, oblique, radii, rhomb

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