sub·​rou·​tine | \ ˈsəb-(ˌ)rü-ˌtēn How to pronounce subroutine (audio) \

Definition of subroutine

: a subordinate routine specifically : a sequence of computer instructions for performing a specified task that can be used repeatedly

Examples of subroutine in a Sentence

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The Split-or-Johnson procedure contained a recursive step, in which a certain subroutine split the problem into two smaller pieces and then called itself to run again on the smaller pieces. Quanta Magazine, "Graph Isomorphism Vanquished — Again," 14 Jan. 2017 For example, there’s a subroutine that smooths the movement of the stick figures so the dancers don’t jerk about too much, and a completely separate neural network dedicated to re-tracing the target’s face to ensure realism. James Vincent, The Verge, "Deepfakes for dancing: you can now use AI to fake those dance moves you always wanted," 26 Aug. 2018 Each agent is an autonomous subroutine that responds in reasonably human ways to other agents and the evolving disaster by switching among multiple modes of behavior—for example, panic, flight, and efforts to find family members. M. Mitchell Waldrop, Science | AAAS, "What if a nuke goes off in Washington, D.C.? Simulations of artificial societies help planners cope with the unthinkable," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'subroutine.' 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 subroutine

circa 1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for subroutine

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Statistics for subroutine

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for subroutine

The first known use of subroutine was circa 1946

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English Language Learners Definition of subroutine

computers : a set of computer instructions that performs a particular task, that is part of a larger computer program, and that can be used repeatedly

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characterized by aphorism

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