# parameter

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## pa·ram·e·ter

(pə-răm′ĭ-tər)
n.
1. Mathematics
a. A constant in an equation that varies in other equations of the same general form, especially such a constant in the equation of a curve or surface that can be varied to represent a family of curves or surfaces.
b. One of a set of independent variables that express the coordinates of a point.
2.
a. One of a set of measurable factors, such as temperature and pressure, that define a system and determine its behavior and are varied in an experiment.
b. Usage Problem A factor that restricts what is possible or what results: "all the parameters of shelter—where people will live, what mode of housing they will choose, and how they will pay for it" (New York).
c. A factor that determines a range of variations; a boundary: an experimental school that keeps expanding the parameters of its curriculum.
3. Statistics A quantity, such as a mean, that is calculated from data and describes a population.
4. Usage Problem A distinguishing characteristic or feature.

[New Latin parametrum, a line through the focus and parallel to the directrix of a conic : Greek para-, beside; see para-1 + Greek metron, measure; see -meter.]

Usage Note: The term parameter, which originates in mathematics, has a number of specific meanings in fields such as astronomy, electricity, crystallography, and statistics. Perhaps because of its ring of technical authority, people have applied parameter more generally in recent years to refer to any factor that determines a range of variations and especially to a factor that restricts what results from a process or policy. In this use, the word parameter is used to mean "the particular value of a parameter," and comes close to meaning "a set limit or boundary." For example, a budget can be thought of as a set of parameters that determine a range of activity, much like a set of mathematical parameters that establish the range of effects, or limits, of other variables. The sentence A budget is a framework that defines the financial parameters within which an organization operates was considered acceptable by 81 percent of the Usage Panel in our 2004 survey. Parameter is sometimes used incorrectly when it does not denote a range of variation, as if it were a technical-sounding synonym for characteristic. In 1988, 88 percent of the Usage Panel rejected the sentence The Judeo-Christian ethic is one of the important parameters of Western culture. In 2004, 77 percent rejected this same sentence, suggesting that familiarity has not bred tolerance of this usage.

## parameter

(pəˈræmɪtə)
n
1. (Mathematics) one of a number of auxiliary variables in terms of which all the variables in an implicit functional relationship can be explicitly expressed. See parametric equations
2. (Mathematics) a variable whose behaviour is not being considered and which may for present purposes be regarded as a constant, as y in the partial derivative ∂f(x,y)/∂x
3. (Statistics) statistics a characteristic of the distribution of a population, such as its mean, as distinct from that of a sample. Compare statistic
4. informal any constant or limiting factor: a designer must work within the parameters of budget and practicality.
[C17: from New Latin; see para-1, -meter]

## pa•ram•e•ter

(pəˈræm ɪ tər)

n.
1.
a. a constant or variable term in a mathematical 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. a variable entering into the mathematical form of any statistical distribution such that the possible values of the variable correspond to different distributions.
3. a variable that must be given a specific value during the execution of either a computer program or a procedure within a program.
4. Usu., parameters. limits or boundaries; guidelines: to keep within the parameters of the discussion.
5. a determining characteristic; factor: a useful parameter for judging long-term success.
[1650–60; < New Latin parametrum. See para-1, -meter]
par•a•met•ric (ˌpær əˈmɛ trɪk) par`a•met′ri•cal, adj.
usage: The use of parameter in the newer senses, “limits” or “characteristic” is often strongly criticized. Though the criticized uses are now well established both in educated speech and in edited writing, it is easy to substitute “limits” or “characteristics” if desired.

## pa·ram·e·ter

(pə-răm′ĭ-tər)
A quantity whose value can vary in general but is fixed when the quantity is used in a specific mathematical expression involving one or more other variables. For example, in finding the area of a circle, one needs to know the length of the circle's radius; that length is a parameter that will have different values for circles of different sizes.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
 Noun 1 parameter - a constant in the equation of a curve that can be varied to yield a family of similar curvesparametric quantityconstant, constant quantity, invariable - a quantity that does not varydegree of freedom - one of the minimum number of parameters needed to describe the state of a physical system 2 parameter - any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performancefactor - anything that contributes causally to a result; "a number of factors determined the outcome" 3 parameter - (computer science) a reference or value that is passed to a function, procedure, subroutine, command, or programargumentvalue - a numerical quantity measured or assigned or computed; "the value assigned was 16 milliseconds"computer science, computing - the branch of engineering science that studies (with the aid of computers) computable processes and structuresaddress, computer address, reference - (computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored 4 parameter - a quantity (such as the mean or variance) that characterizes a statistical population and that can be estimated by calculations from sample dataquantity - the concept that something has a magnitude and can be represented in mathematical expressions by a constant or a variable

## parameter

noun (Informal) (usually plural) We have to define the basic parameters within which we want to operate.
Translations
parametr
parameeter
parametri

[pəˈræmɪtəʳ] N

## parameter

[pəˈræmɪtər] n
(MATHEMATICS)
(fig) (= limiting factor) →
to set the parameters →

## parameter

n
(Math, Comput) → Parameter m
parameters pl (= framework, limits)Rahmen m; to define or establish or set the parameters of or for somethingdie Parameter für etw festsetzen; to fall within the parameters of somethingsich im Rahmen von etw bewegen or halten

## parameter

[pəˈræmɪtəʳ] nparametro

## pa·ram·e·ter

n. parámetro, aspecto, evaluación de un asunto.
References in periodicals archive ?
When it comes to the understanding of sonata form in Mahler's works, even within Monahan's correctives on the "generative" conception of the form, this study would benefit from further details, preferably with reference to choices that other contemporary composers made; such a perspective would allow for a more intensive exploration of formal parameters.
Formal parameters to work in an existing environment (Ethernet, SAN, power grid, the physical mounting system).
However rigorous her formal parameters, she kept her work permeable to a stream of impressions from emotional and intellectual experience.
The earliest of the five short videos Bonnie Camplin presented as part of the Tate's "Light Box" series of artist's films and videos was Good Health, 2003, and it set the tone as well as the formal parameters for the rest.
THE BHB yesterday announced the formal parameters for both the Flat and jumps championships, with the Flat season defined as running from the day of the Lincoln to the day of the November Handicap, writes Laura Stephens.
The study is therefore an attempt to ascertain whether purely formal parameters of the verb could motivate the use of the prefix, or whether this type of prefixation was fully independent of the formal factors.

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