1

function

play
noun func·tion \ ˈfəŋ(k)-shən \

Definition of function

1 :professional or official position :occupation
  • His job combines the functions of a manager and a worker.
2 :the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists :purpose
3 :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
  • The function of the heart is to pump blood through the body.
4 :an official or formal ceremony or social gathering
  • They went to several functions during their college reunion weekend.
5 a :a mathematical correspondence that assigns exactly one element of one set to each element of the same or another set
b :a variable (such 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
6 :characteristic behavior of a chemical compound due to a particular reactive unit; also :functional group
7 :a computer subroutine; specifically :one that performs a calculation with variables (see 2variable 1a) provided by a program and supplies the program with a single result

functionless

play \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of function in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of function from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of function

Latin function-, functio performance, from fungi to perform; probably akin to Sanskrit bhuṅkte he enjoys

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

2

function

verb

Definition of function

functioned; functioning play \ˈfəŋ(k)-sh(ə-)niŋ\
intransitive verb
1 :to have a function :serve
  • an attributive noun functions as an adjective
2 :to carry on a function or be in action :operate

Examples of function in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of function from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of function

function Synonyms



FUNCTION Defined for English Language Learners

function

play
noun

Definition of function for English Language Learners

  • : 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


function

verb

Definition of function for English Language Learners

  • : to work or operate

  • : to have a specified function, role, or purpose


FUNCTION Defined for Kids

1

function

play
noun func·tion \ ˈfəŋk-shən \

Definition of function for Students

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

2

function

verb

Definition of function for Students

functioned; functioning
:to serve a certain purpose :work
  • The new machine functions well.
  • The couch can also function as a bed.

Medical Dictionary

1

function

play
noun func·tion \ ˈfəŋ(k)-shən \

medical Definition of function

: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 — see vital function

functionless

play \-ləs\ adjective

2

function

intransitive verb

medical Definition of function

functioned; functioning play \-sh(ə-)niŋ\
:to have a function
  • shivering functions to maintain the heat of the body


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