(~s, ~ing, ~ed)
Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English.
The ~ of something or someone is the useful thing that they do or are intended to do.
The main ~ of the merchant banks is to raise capital for industry.
= purpose, role
N-COUNT: with supp
If a machine or system is ~ing, it is working or operating.
The authorities say the prison is now ~ing normally...
If someone or something ~s as a particular thing, they do the work or fulfil the purpose of that thing.
On weekdays, one third of the room ~s as workspace.
VERB: V as n
A ~ is a series of operations that a computer performs, for example when a single key or a combination of keys is pressed.
If you say that one thing is a ~ of another, you mean that its amount or nature depends on the other thing. (FORMAL)
Investment is a ~ of the interest rate.
N-COUNT: usu sing, N of n
A ~ is a large formal dinner or party.