[ fuhngk-shuh n ]
/ ˈfʌŋk ʃən /


verb (used without object)

to perform a specified action or activity; work; operate: The computer isn't functioning now. He rarely functions before noon.
to have or exercise a function; serve: In earlier English the present tense often functioned as a future. This orange crate can function as a chair.

Origin of function

1525–35; < Latin functiōn- (stem of functiō) a performance, execution, equivalent to funct(us) (past participle of fungī) performed, executed + -iōn- -ion


Example sentences from the Web for function

British Dictionary definitions for function

/ (ˈfʌŋkʃən) /


the natural action or intended purpose of a person or thing in a specific role the function of a hammer is to hit nails into wood
an official or formal social gathering or ceremony
a factor dependent upon another or other factors the length of the flight is a function of the weather
Also called: map, mapping maths logic a relation between two sets that associates a unique element (the value) of the second (the range) with each element (the argument) of the first (the domain): a many-one relation. Symbol: f(x) The value of f(x) for x = 2 is f(2)

verb (intr)

to operate or perform as specified; work properly
(foll by as) to perform the action or role (of something or someone else) a coin may function as a screwdriver

Derived forms of function

functionless, adjective

Word Origin for function

C16: from Latin functiō, from fungī to perform, discharge

Medical definitions for function

[ fŭngkshən ]


The physiological property or the special action of an organ or body part.
Something closely related to another thing and dependent on it for its existence, value, or significance, such as growth resulting from nutrition.
A mathematical variable so related to another that for each value assumed by one there is a value determined for the other.
A rule of correspondence between two sets such that there is a unique element in the second set assigned to each element in the first set.
The general properties of a substance, depending on its chemical character and relation to other substances, that provide the basis upon which it may be grouped as among acids or bases.
A particular reactive grouping in a molecule.

Scientific definitions for function

[ fŭngkshən ]

A relationship between two sets that matches each member of the first set with a unique member of the second set. Functions are often expressed as an equation, such as y = x + 5, meaning that y is a function of x such that for any value of x, the value of y will be 5 greater than x.
A quantity whose value depends on the value given to one or more related quantities. For example, the area of a square is a function of the length of its sides.

Cultural definitions for function


In mathematics, a quantity whose value is determined by the value of some other quantity. For example, “The yield of this field is a function of the amount of fertilizer applied” means that a given amount of fertilizer will yield an amount of whatever crop is growing.