function

noun
func·​tion | \ ˈfəŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce function (audio) \

Definition of function

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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.
5a : 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 variable entry 2 sense 1a) provided by a program and supplies the program with a single result

function

verb
functioned; functioning\ ˈfəŋ(k)-​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce function (audio) \

Definition of function (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Other Words from function

Noun

functionless \ ˈfəŋ(k)-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce function (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for function

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for function

Noun

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

Examples of function in a Sentence

Noun The function of the heart is to pump blood through the body. He believes that the true function of art is to tell the truth. What functions do these programs fulfill? infants learning to control their bodily functions The instrument is chiefly used to measure and record heart function. The design achieves a perfect blend of form and function. His job combines the functions of a manager and a worker. Her chief function is to provide expert legal advice. They went to several functions during their college reunion weekend. Verb The new machine functions well. His bad health has prevented him from being able to function effectively in recent weeks. Her heart now seems to be functioning normally. The computer network is not yet fully functioning. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thanks to an automatic defrost function in the refrigerator, your perishables will always remain frost-free, but keep in mind that the freezer requires manual defrosting. Adria Greenhauff, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Sep. 2022 Epigenes can be turned on and off, so would the change in immune function remain after the study subjects went back to full nights of sleep? Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 27 Sep. 2022 The new Phase 3 study results disclosed on Tuesday are intended to prove that reducing amyloid results in a slower decline in cognitive function from Alzheimer’s. Joseph Walker, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2022 While the results appear to be positive, the single trial is unlikely to prove that amyloid is responsible for the decline in mental function often seen in patients, Espay said. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., NBC News, 27 Sep. 2022 The school is Alabama’s newest state magnet school on a 26-acre campus in Cummings Research Park and is similar in function to the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham and the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al, 23 Sep. 2022 The problem is related to the windows' automatic reversal function, the safety feature that lowers the glass if it's being raised and encounters part of a human being. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 22 Sep. 2022 Potassium is also necessary for healthy nerve function and regulation of heart rate. Good Housekeeping, 16 Sep. 2022 The company has been focused on building features into core products that help everyday folk make sustainable choices, such as choosing a driving route that uses less fuel with the eco-routing function in Google Maps. Matt Whittaker, Fortune, 12 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The research community is excited about the potential of DNA to function as long-term archival storage. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 15 Sep. 2022 It’s not just a handheld console—it’s a PC that sometimes requires workarounds and tweaks for things to function properly. Wired, 28 July 2022 Tonia Reis, director of Edelman's Trust Barometer surveys, said trust is a precious commodity that's vital for the economy and government to function. David Klepper, ajc, 9 July 2022 Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least seven hours of sleep per night for adults, some people are able to function with a bit less. L'oreal Thompson Payton, Fortune, 25 Aug. 2022 Talks to resolve the problem have so far proved fruitless, said the Israeli official, who expressed pessimism as to whether the Jewish Agency would be able to continue to function in Russia. Dov Lieber, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 And in some cases, the lightest shade on a paint card could function as a white does when juxtaposed with your wall color. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Aug. 2022 Sports events function as a public-relations exercise and form a key part of the Saudi government’s long-term plan to transform the country and its reputation. Morgan Campbell, New York Times, 19 Aug. 2022 Pages can function like a Word document, spreadsheet or a file-storage system. Maddie Ellis, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of function

Noun

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1856, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for function

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for function

Time Traveler

The first known use of function was in 1533

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Dictionary Entries Near function

Funchal

function

functionaire

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Statistics for function

Last Updated

1 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Function.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/function. Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for function

function

noun
func·​tion | \ ˈfəŋk-shən How to pronounce function (audio) \

Kids Definition of function

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

function

verb
functioned; functioning

Kids Definition of function (Entry 2 of 2)

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

function

noun
func·​tion | \ ˈfəŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce function (audio) \

Medical Definition of function

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

Other Words from function

functionless \ -​ləs How to pronounce function (audio) \ adjective

function

intransitive verb
functioned; functioning\ -​sh(ə-​)niŋ How to pronounce function (audio) \

Medical Definition of function (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have a function shivering functions to maintain the heat of the body

More from Merriam-Webster on function

Nglish: Translation of function for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of function for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about function

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