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as in to serve
to have a certain purpose the heart functions as a pump for the blood

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How is the word function distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of function are duty, office, and province. While all these words 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

In what contexts can duty take the place of function?

Although the words duty and function have much in common, 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

When is office a more appropriate choice than function?

While in some cases nearly identical to function, 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

When would province be a good substitute for function?

The words province and function can be used in similar contexts, but 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

Thesaurus Entries Near function

Cite this Entry

“Function.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on function

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