com·​bi·​na·​to·​ri·​al | \ ˌkäm-bə-nə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl How to pronounce combinatorial (audio) , kəm-ˌbī-nə-, -(ˌ)bi- \

Definition of combinatorial

1 : of, relating to, or involving combinations
2 : of or relating to the arrangement of, operation on, and selection of discrete mathematical elements belonging to finite sets or making up geometric configurations

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from combinatorial

combinatorially \ ˌkäm-​bə-​nə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce combinatorially (audio) , kəm-​ˌbī-​nə-​ , -​(ˌ)bi-​ \ adverb

Examples of combinatorial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hertz’s combinatorial approach works best when the prevalence of the disease in a community is no higher than 5 percent, with around 1 percent being ideal. Marla Broadfoot, Scientific American, "Coronavirus Test Shortages Trigger a New Strategy: Group Screening," 13 May 2020 While some were veterans, many were newcomers to Marvel's ever-broadening paracosm—a narrative web that already crammed more than 60 heroes into May's Avengers: Endgame, and will continue its combinatorial creep over at least the next three years. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Amazon's The Boys Tests the Limits of Superhero Fatigue," 26 July 2019 Algorithmic art isn’t limited to abstract or combinatorial art, either. Gabriel Nicholas, Slate Magazine, "These Stunning A.I. Tools Are About to Change the Art World," 11 Dec. 2017 For Strachey, though, the interesting thing was how a simple setup, using only about seventy base words, could produce a combinatorial explosion of results—on the order of three hundred billion different letters. Adam Davidson, The New Yorker, "Christopher Strachey’s Nineteen-Fifties Love Machine," 14 Feb. 2017 That’s been the supersized science news of the last 24 hours, thanks to a clever combinatorial analysis of social networks and weight gain. Brandon Keim, WIRED, "Infectious Obesity Findings are Full of Empty Calories," 26 July 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'combinatorial.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of combinatorial

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about combinatorial

Time Traveler for combinatorial

Time Traveler

The first known use of combinatorial was in 1818

See more words from the same year

Statistics for combinatorial

Cite this Entry

“Combinatorial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on combinatorial

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with combinatorial

Comments on combinatorial

What made you want to look up combinatorial? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!