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1. The action or purpose for which a person or thing is suited or employed, especially:
a. A person's role or occupation: in my function as chief editor.
b. Biology The physiological activity of an organ or body part: The heart's function is to pump blood.
c. Computers A procedure within an application.
2. An official ceremony or a formal social occasion: disliked attending receptions and other company functions.
3. Something closely related to another thing and dependent on it for its existence, value, or significance: Growth is a function of nutrition.
4. Abbr. f Mathematics
a. A variable so related to another that for each value assumed by one there is a value determined for the other.
b. A rule of correspondence between two sets such that there is exactly one element in the second set assigned to each element in the first set. Also called mapping.
intr.v. func·tioned, func·tion·ing, func·tions
1. To have or perform a function; serve: functioned as ambassador.
2. To deal with or overcome the challenges of everyday life: For weeks after his friend's funeral he simply could not function.

[Latin fūnctiō, fūnctiōn-, performance, execution, from fūnctus, past participle of fungī, to perform, execute.]

func′tion·less adj.
Synonyms: function, duty, office, role
These nouns denote the actions and activities assigned to, required of, or expected of a person: the function of a teacher; a bank clerk's duty; performed the office of financial adviser; the role of a parent.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
But Gibson's tale also suggests that the functionless facades of technology that we're familiar with from every Buck Rogers-like TV show and movie, as well as the Gernsback pulp novels that were formed by and informed by the '30s through the '50s, seep into our imaginations to produce a vision of who we are and who we should be by what technology we have; and perhaps more importantly the story insists that we are formed by what aesthetic we share and the narrative conventions that embody that aesthetic.
Too many staff spend too much time filling in too many functionless forms.
Chronic cholecystitis can be mild or severe, and in combination with stones, it may cause the gallbladder to become thickened, shrunken and functionless. At this stage, symptoms are vague: flatulence, aversion to fatty foods, indigestion and ill-defined pain in the upper abdomen.[13]
According to Miriam Slater, "Spinsterhood condemned one to a lifetime of peripheral existence: it was a functionless role played out at the margins of other people's lives without even that minimal raison d'etre - the possibility of bearing children - which was supposed to comfort and sustain the married woman."(10)
To many this view will seem wrong-headed, to miss the essence of complexity by failing to distinguish between a functional differentiated structure like an automobile and the (ordinarily) functionless heap of parts in a demolished one.
[ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 15 OMITTED.] It is difficult to replicate for readers the radical experience of looking through hundreds of pages of diminutive, functionless, homogenous, and uninteresting interpretations of the clitoris and suddenly seeing this stunning feminist revision.
Were Melville's manipulatively ironic statement rhetorically functionless, the standard critical view of Delano's foolishness would seem to have more textual validity.
A reader concerned with "the general thought of logic" (or rhetoric) may well inquire into the meanings of "singular," "most," and "subjects." But of all things, the "positions" most crucial are the unclearly identified identity, that apparently functionless function, that undecreed fatality, of the "I." These make this essay a signpost (a "symbol"?
In general, there is a strong emphasis on the functional valu of emotions, and a rejection of the Jamesian tradition of seeing emotions as a functionless 'froth' in human life.
It may be held in liquid form; some of it, as in the 1980s, may be absorbed in functionless debt creation, such as that which financed the mergers and acquisitions and the leveraged buyouts.
(4.) Burger's insistence that the avant-garde is "functionless" perversely replicates and extends the logic of Reik's speculations on "social masochism." Reik argues that idealist political revolutionaries are masochists insofar as they invest all of their emotional energy in a project that is, for Reik, evidently doomed, thereby satisfying an unconscious need for failure.
Other mouths: curving balconies, Gaudi-like but functionless, no one goes out on them.