What does function mean?

Definitions for function
ˈfʌŋk ʃənfunc·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word function.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. function, mathematical function, single-valued function, map, mappingnoun

    (mathematics) a mathematical relation such that each element of a given set (the domain of the function) is associated with an element of another set (the range of the function)

  2. function, purpose, role, usenoun

    what something is used for

    "the function of an auger is to bore holes"; "ballet is beautiful but what use is it?"

  3. function, office, part, rolenoun

    the actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group

    "the function of a teacher"; "the government must do its part"; "play its role"

  4. functionnoun

    a relation such that one thing is dependent on another

    "height is a function of age"; "price is a function of supply and demand"

  5. functionnoun

    a formal or official social gathering or ceremony

    "it was a black-tie function"

  6. affair, occasion, social occasion, function, social functionnoun

    a vaguely specified social event

    "the party was quite an affair"; "an occasion arranged to honor the president"; "a seemingly endless round of social functions"

  7. routine, subroutine, subprogram, procedure, functionverb

    a set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program

  8. function, work, operate, go, runverb

    perform as expected when applied

    "The washing machine won't go unless it's plugged in"; "Does this old car still run well?"; "This old radio doesn't work anymore"

  9. serve, functionverb

    serve a purpose, role, or function

    "The tree stump serves as a table"; "The female students served as a control group"; "This table would serve very well"; "His freedom served him well"; "The table functions as a desk"

  10. officiate, functionverb

    perform duties attached to a particular office or place or function

    "His wife officiated as his private secretary"


  1. functionnoun

    What something does or is used for.

  2. functionnoun

    A professional or official position.

  3. functionnoun

    An official or social occasion.

  4. functionnoun

    A relation where one thing is dependent on another for its existence, value, or significance.

  5. functionnoun

    A relation in which each element of the domain is associated with exactly one element of the codomain.

  6. functionnoun

    A routine that receives zero or more arguments and may return a result.

  7. functionnoun

    The physiological activity of an organ or body part.

  8. functionnoun

    The characteristic behavior of a chemical compound.

  9. functionnoun

    The role of a social practice in the continued existence of the group.

  10. functionverb

    to have a function

  11. functionverb

    to carry on a function; to be in action

  12. Etymology: From function, from fonction, from functionem, accusative of function, from functus perfect participle of fungor.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Functionnoun

    Etymology: functio, Latin.

    There is hardly a greater difference between two things than there is between a representing commoner in the function of his publick calling, and the same person in common life. Jonathan Swift.

    The ministry is not now bound to any one tribe: now none is secluded from that function of any degree, state, or calling. John Whitgift.

    You have paid the heav’ns your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

    Nor was it any policy of state, or obstinacy of will, or partiality of affection either to the men or their function, which fixed me. Charles I .

    This double function of the goddess gives a considerable light and beauty to the ode which Quintus Horatius Flaccus has addressed to her. Joseph Addison, Remarks on Italy.

    Let not these indignities discourage us from asserting the just privileges and pre-eminence of our holy function and character. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Without difference those functions cannot, in orderly sort, be executed. Richard Hooker.

    They have several offices and prayers against fire, tempests, and especially for the dead, in which functions they use sacerdotal garments. Edward Stillingfleet, Def. of Disc. on Rom. Idol.

    Follow your function; go, and batten on cold bits. William Shakespeare.

    The bodies of men, and other animals, are excellently well fitted for life and motion; and the several parts of them well adapted to their particular functions. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    Tears in his eyes, distraction in his aspect,
    A broken voice, and his whole function suiting
    With forms to his conceit. William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

    Nature seems
    In all her functions weary of herself:
    My race of glory run, and race of shame;
    And I shall shortly be with them that rest. John Milton.

    Whatever warms the heart, or fills the head,
    As the mind opens, and its functions spread,
    Imagination plies her dang’rous art,
    And pours it all upon the peccant part. Alexander Pope.

    Though every human constitution is morbid, yet are their diseases consistent with the common functions of life. Arbuthn.


  1. Function

    Function is the third single from E-40s 16th studio album The Block Brochure: Welcome to the Soil 2. The song features fellow rappers YG, Iamsu! and Problem. The song is produced by Trend of the group League of Star 2012. The song was certified Gold by the RIAA on November 3, 2016.


  1. function

    A function is a rule or relation in mathematics that uniquely associates members of one set, known as the domain, with members of another set, known as the range. For each input in the domain, there is exactly one output in the range. Functions are typically represented by a single letter and can be described using equations, tables, or graphs.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Functionnoun

    the act of executing or performing any duty, office, or calling; per formance

  2. Functionnoun

    the appropriate action of any special organ or part of an animal or vegetable organism; as, the function of the heart or the limbs; the function of leaves, sap, roots, etc.; life is the sum of the functions of the various organs and parts of the body

  3. Functionnoun

    the natural or assigned action of any power or faculty, as of the soul, or of the intellect; the exertion of an energy of some determinate kind

  4. Functionnoun

    the course of action which peculiarly pertains to any public officer in church or state; the activity appropriate to any business or profession

  5. Functionnoun

    a quantity so connected with another quantity, that if any alteration be made in the latter there will be a consequent alteration in the former. Each quantity is said to be a function of the other. Thus, the circumference of a circle is a function of the diameter. If x be a symbol to which different numerical values can be assigned, such expressions as x2, 3x, Log. x, and Sin. x, are all functions of x

  6. Functionverb

    alt. of Functionate

  7. Etymology: [L. functio, fr. fungi to perform, execute, akin to Skr. bhuj to enjoy, have the use of: cf. F. fonction. Cf. Defunct.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Function

    fungk′shun, n. the doing of a thing: duty peculiar to any office: faculty, exercise of faculty: the peculiar office of any part of the body or mind: power: a solemn service: (math.) a quantity so connected with another that any change in the one produces a corresponding change in the other: the technical term in physiology for the vital activity of organ, tissue, or cell.—adj. Func′tional, pertaining to or performed by functions—opp. to Organic or Structural.—vs.t. Func′tionalise, Func′tionate.—adv. Func′tionally.—n. Func′tionary, one who discharges any duty: one who holds an office.—adj. Func′tionless, having no function. [O. Fr.,—L. function-emfungi, functus, to perform.]

Editors Contribution

  1. function

    To serve a purpose according to the creation or design.

    The function of the machinery was to ensure the crew spent less time doing manual work, it was very effective.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 25, 2020  


  1. Function

    the work or duty which a given part or organ normally performs.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'function' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #1358

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'function' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1365

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'function' in Nouns Frequency: #334

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'function' in Verbs Frequency: #814

How to pronounce function?

How to say function in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of function in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of function in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of function in a Sentence

  1. Barber B. Conable, Jr:

    I don't think it's the function of Congress to function well. It should drag its heels on the way to decision.

  2. Max Eastman:

    The defining function of the artist is to cherish consciousness.

  3. John W.N. Sullivan:

    ...it is certain that the real function of art is to increase our self-consciousness; to make us more aware of what we are, and therefore of what the universe in which we live really is. And since mathematics, in its own way, also performs this function, it is not only aesthetically charming but profoundly significant. It is an art, and a great art.

  4. Charles De Gaulle:

    Deliberation is the function of many, action is the function of one.

  5. Jesse Watters:

    So this grant goes to the Wuhan lab and in the grant, it spells out what the gain-of-function is supposed to do, so the bad lady (Chinese Dr. Shi Zhengli) takes the grant. She does the gain of function and then she thanks the grantee, Fauci, for providing her the money. So when Paul asks him it, he goes 'gain of function isn't really what gain of function is.'.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for function

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • funksieAfrikaans
  • وظيفةArabic
  • funció, funcionarCatalan, Valencian
  • funkce, účelCzech
  • funktion, virke, fungereDanish
  • Funktion, Festveranstaltung, Funktionalität, Feier, Zweck, Aufgabe, fungieren, funzen, arbeiten, funktionieren, wirkenGerman
  • λειτούργημα, διαδικασία, αποστολή, συνάρτηση, λειτουργία, καθήκον, δεξίωση, τελετή, λειτουργώ, λειτουργώ ως, εργάζομαιGreek
  • funkcio, funkciiEsperanto
  • cargo, función, fungir, funcionarSpanish
  • funktsioonEstonian
  • تابعPersian
  • tapahtuma, tarkoitus, tilaisuus, tehtävä, toimi, funktio, käyttäytyminen, toiminta, toiminto, käydä, toimia, käynnissäFinnish
  • fonction, fonctionner, marcherFrench
  • feidhm, feidhmighIrish
  • funciónGalician
  • cruinnaghtManx
  • פונקציה, אירוע, תפקיד, תפקד, פעלHebrew
  • फलनHindi
  • függvény, funkció, működikHungarian
  • աշխատել, գործել, բանելArmenian
  • fungsiIndonesian
  • funcionoIdo
  • fallIcelandic
  • cerimonia, funzione, ricevimento, funzionareItalian
  • פונקציהHebrew
  • 機能, 関数, 職務, 動く, 作用する, 機能するJapanese
  • ფუნქციაGeorgian
  • 함수, 기능Korean
  • کار, کاروبارKurdish
  • fūnctiōLatin
  • fungsiMalay
  • functie, functioneren, fungeren, dienenDutch
  • funksjon, post, stilling, tilstelning, tilstellingNorwegian
  • funkcja, stanowisko, działać, funkcjonowaćPolish
  • função, funcionarPortuguese
  • llamk'ayQuechua
  • funcție, funcționaRomanian
  • функцияRussian
  • funkcija, svrha, službaSerbo-Croatian
  • funksionAlbanian
  • subrutin, bjudning, uppgift, funktion, åliggande, förrättning, syssla, kall, tillställning, fungera, tjänstgöra, verkaSwedish
  • тобеъTajik
  • ฟังก์ชันThai
  • fonksiyon, işlevTurkish
  • функціяUkrainian
  • 功能Chinese

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"function." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/function>.

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