linear function


: a mathematical function in which the variables appear only in the first degree, are multiplied by constants, and are combined only by addition and subtraction

Examples of linear function in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are six algebra modules, for example, including ones about linear functions, quadratics, and exponentials. IEEE Spectrum, 22 July 2023 Now, there is no linear function that passes through these three points. Patrick Honner, Quanta Magazine, 23 Jan. 2023 This weighted sum is then fed into a non-linear function called an activation function—a step that enables neural networks to model complex non-linear phenomena. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 2 Dec. 2019 And a linear function can't model complex real-world phenomena. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, 18 Dec. 2018 One of our favorite refrains: tennis careers are not linear functions. Jon Wertheim,, 18 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'linear function.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of linear function was in 1853

Dictionary Entries Near linear function

Cite this Entry

“Linear function.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

linear function

: a function whose graph is a straight line and which is represented by an equation of the form y = ax + b where a and b are constants, a does not equal zero, and x is any real number
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