permutation

noun
per·​mu·​ta·​tion | \ ˌpər-myü-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce permutation (audio) \

Definition of permutation

1 : often major or fundamental change (as in character or condition) based primarily on rearrangement of existent elements the system has gone through several permutations also : a form or variety resulting from such change technology available in various permutations
2a : the act or process of changing the lineal order of an ordered set of objects
b : an ordered arrangement of a set of objects

Other Words from permutation

permutational \ ˌpər-​myü-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce permutation (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Did you know?

Permutation has not changed all that much since it was borrowed into Middle English from Anglo-French as permutacioun, meaning "exchange, transformation." Permutacioun traces back to the Latin verb permutare, meaning "to change thoroughly, exchange," and ultimately derives from the Latin mutare, "to change." Other descendants of mutare in English include commute, mutant, and mutual. Permutation also has a specific application in the field of mathematics relating to the ordering of a given set of objects. For example, permutations of items a, b, and c are abc, acb, bac, etc.

Examples of permutation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Capitalism, the scholar Cedric Robinson argues, was not a revolutionary departure from feudalism but an extension of it, a new permutation. Eula Biss, The New Yorker, 8 June 2022 What’s more, because the interview snippets are shuffled consistently, each visitor will get a wholly unique permutation of the exhibition. Seth Combs Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Jan. 2022 Conceding that the picker probably could not afford his McMansion, and that the loans that put him in it were untenable, Kelman nevertheless liked this gaudy permutation of the American Dream. Joshua Hunt, Curbed, 21 Oct. 2021 Once again, the common opponent record would determine seeding priority and the Red Sox hold the advantage in almost any permutation. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 In every permutation, from generals and liberators to late capitalist celebrity-politicians like Barack Obama or Justin Trudeau, charisma is an unbalanced emotional exchange. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 In every permutation, from generals and liberators to late capitalist celebrity-politicians like Barack Obama or Justin Trudeau, charisma is an unbalanced emotional exchange. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 In every permutation, from generals and liberators to late capitalist celebrity-politicians like Barack Obama or Justin Trudeau, charisma is an unbalanced emotional exchange. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2021 In a perfect world, physicists could just run their model for every possible merger permutation—a black hole with a certain mass and spin encountering another with a different mass and spin—and compare those results with what the detector sees. Steve Nadis, Wired, 23 May 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of permutation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for permutation

Middle English permutacioun exchange, transformation, from Anglo-French, from Latin permutation-, permutatio, from permutare

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The first known use of permutation was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near permutation

permutate

permutation

permutation group

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Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Permutation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/permutation. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of permutation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about permutation

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