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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.
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.]

par′a·met′ric (păr′ə-mĕt′rĭk), par′a·met′ri·cal adj.
par′a·met′ri·cal·ly adv.
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.
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.


in terms of a parameter
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Most biochemical analyte values were distributed parametrically, while most hematologic values were nonparametrically distributed.
We accomplished this by first measuring how conjugate responding on the force transducer changed as dimensions of the volume of several video clips were parametrically manipulated.
The number of ICBM silos is parametrically varied from 100-800.
The distant BCVA value of the patients was parametrically measured using the paired sample t-test with the SPSS program before and after the use of telescopic glasses.
Zu, "Nonlinear vibration of parametrically excited moving belts, part I: Dynamic response," Journal of Applied Mechanics, vol.
The probability of explosion over successive inflations increased parametrically. For each balloon, participants had no time restrictions to make a decision (i.e., to choose to Inflate the balloon or Cash In the wager).
We use the coefficient of skewness [g.sub.1], as a measure of asymmetry, and the coefficient of excess [g.sub.2], as a measure of flattering, which represent parametrically invariant quantities defined as
Floris, "Stochastic stability of damped Mathieu oscillator parametrically excited by a gaussian noise," Mathematical Problems in Engineering, vol.
The calculated and simulated ultimate torques for all the above parametrically studied cases are compared in Table 4.
It may be seen that the mean codeword length (17) had been generalized parametrically by Campbell [15] and their bounds had been studied in terms of generalized measures of entropies.
The coverage interval, similar to the reference interval can be calculated both parametrically as well as nonparametrically.