con·​vo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌkän-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce convolution (audio) \

Definition of convolution

1 : a form or shape that is folded in curved or tortuous windings the convolutions of the intestines
2 : one of the irregular ridges on the surface of the brain and especially of the cerebrum of higher mammals
3 : a complication or intricacy of form, design, or structure … societies in which the convolutions of power and the caprices of the powerful are ever-present dangers to survival.— Mary Lee Settle

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Examples of convolution in a Sentence

I found it hard to follow the convolutions of the book's plot. a plot full of convolution and confusion
Recent Examples on the Web This process turns out to be much more computationally straightforward than DeepONet’s and is akin to solving a PDE by performing a hairy mathematical operation called a convolution between the PDE and some other function. Quanta Magazine, 19 Apr. 2021 Each NeuronCore implements a high-performance systolic array matrix multiply engine, which massively speeds up typical deep learning operations such as convolution and transformers. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, 13 Nov. 2020 Each convolution captured different essential features of the image, such as edges. Quanta Magazine, 28 Oct. 2020 Even without that doomsday outcome, rewriting contracts that refer to Libor is fraught with byzantine convolutions. Washington Post, 9 July 2019 Bold, snicker-out-loud funny, magnetic and unsettling through its power-struggle convolutions, this production musically and dramatically fills the company’s looming proscenium. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 7 Feb. 2020 Could the show have gotten away without the convolutions required to make Aaron an actual jailhouse lawyer, when Wright only got his degree and passed the bar after ending his incarceration? Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Feb. 2020 Conventional deep learning algorithms for video recognition perform a 3D operation (known as a convolution) on multiple video frames at once. Wired, 15 Oct. 2019 MiB: International at least avoids the dizzying time-travel convolutions that marred the third installment in this franchise, plus there are a number of amusing callbacks to the prior films. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 14 June 2019

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

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First Known Use of convolution

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for convolution

see convolute

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Learn More about convolution

Time Traveler for convolution

Time Traveler

The first known use of convolution was in 1545

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Statistics for convolution

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Convolution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for convolution



English Language Learners Definition of convolution

: something that is very complicated and difficult to understand
: a twist or curve


con·​vo·​lu·​tion | \ ˌkän-və-ˈlü-shən How to pronounce convolution (audio) \

Medical Definition of convolution

: any of the irregular ridges on the surface of the brain and especially of the cerebrum

called also gyrus

— compare sulcus

Other Words from convolution

convolutional \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce convolution (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on convolution

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for convolution

Britannica English: Translation of convolution for Arabic Speakers


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