Meaning of PARAMETER in English


— parametric /par'euh me"trik/ , parametrical , adj.

/peuh ram"i teuhr/ , n.

1. Math.

a. a constant or variable term in a function that determines the specific form of the function but not its general nature, as a in f ( x ) = ax, where a determines only the slope of the line described by f ( x ).

b. one of the independent variables in a set of parametric equations.

2. Statistics. a variable entering into the mathematical form of any distribution such that the possible values of the variable correspond to different distributions.

3. Computers. a variable that must be given a specific value during the execution of a program or of a procedure within a program.

4. Usually, parameters . limits or boundaries; guidelines: the basic parameters of our foreign policy.

5. characteristic or factor; aspect; element: a useful parameter for judging long-term success.

[ 1650-60; parametrum. See PARA- 1 , -METER ]

Usage. 4, 5. Some object strongly to the use of PARAMETER in these newer senses. Nevertheless, the criticized uses are now well established both in educated speech and in edited writing.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .