function


function
function n
1 Function, office, duty, province are comparable when they mean the act, acts, activities, or operations expected of a person or thing by virtue of his or its nature, structure, status, or position.
Function is the most comprehensive of these terms, capable of referring not only to a living thing or to a part or member of a living thing but to anything in nature (as the sun, the stars, or the earth) or in art (as poetry, painting, music, or an example of one of these) or to anything constructed that serves a definite end or purpose or is intended to perform a particular kind of work
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fulfill one's function as a mother

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the function of the stomach is to digest food sufficiently to enable it to pass into the intestine

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the function of language is twofold: to communicate emotion and to give information— Huxley

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the function of the leaves of a plant

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the function of criticism

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what after all . . . is the true function of religion?— Dickinson

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Office applies usually to the function of or the work to be performed by a person as a result of his trade, profession, employment, or position with relation to others; in this sense it refers to a service that is expected of one or to a charge that is laid upon one
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O, pardon me for bringing these ill news, since you did leave it for my office, sir— Shak.

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to suppose she would shrink . . . from the office of a friend— Austen

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they exercise the offices of the judge, the priest, the counsellor— Gladstone

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Duty (see also TASK) applies not only to the tasks expected or required to be performed in the course of occupation or employment
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the duties of a cook

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the duties of a hotel porter

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but to the offices associated with status, rank, or calling and generally regarded as inherent in that status, rank, or calling and as imposing an obligation upon the person so stationed
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a man and wife fulfill their biological function when they produce children, but they must still perform their duties as parents in rearing, protecting, and educating those chil- dren

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the governor regarded it as his duty to warn the citizens of the dangers ahead

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it is not only the right, but it is the judicial duty of the court, to examine the whole case as presented by the record— Taney

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it is in large part because of our failure to discharge our peacetime responsibilities as citizens that we must do our grim duty in war or perish— Lodge

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Province (see also FIELD)denotes a function, office, or duty which comes within one's range of jurisdiction, powers, competence, or customary practice
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nursing does not belong to a man; it is not his provinceAusten

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it is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is— John Marshall

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Analogous words: end, goal, object, objective, purpose (see INTENTION): business, concern, *affair: *task, job
2 *power, faculty
Analogous words: *ability, capacity, capability: action, behavior, operation (see corresponding verbs at ACT)
function vb operate, work, *act, behave, react

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Function — Func tion, n. [L. functio, fr. fungi to perform, execute, akin to Skr. bhuj to enjoy, have the use of: cf. F. fonction. Cf. {Defunct}.] 1. The act of executing or performing any duty, office, or calling; performance. In the function of his public …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • function — 1. The noun has a number of technical meanings in mathematics and information technology, and has acquired general meanings that caused Fowler (1926) to categorize it as a popularized technicality. As a noun, it is often used somewhat… …   Modern English usage

  • function — [fuŋk′shən] n. [OFr < L functio < pp. of fungi, to perform < IE base * bheug , to enjoy > Sans bhuṅktē, (he) enjoys] 1. the normal or characteristic action of anything; esp., any of the natural, specialized actions of a system, organ …   English World dictionary

  • Function — may refer to:* Function (biology), explaining why a feature survived selection * Function (mathematics), an abstract entity that associates an input to a corresponding output according to some rule * Function (engineering), related to the… …   Wikipedia

  • function — I noun appropriate activity, assignment, business, chore, design, duty, employment, exploitation, mission, munus, occupation, office, officium, performance, purpose, pursuit, responsibility, role, task, usage, use, utility, work associated… …   Law dictionary

  • Functĭon — (v. lat. Functio), 1) Verrichtung; Amtsverrichtung; daher Functioniren, ein Amt verrichten; 2) nach Kant die Einheit der Handlung, verschiedene Vorstellungen unter eine gemeinschaftliche zu ordnen; 3) die naturgemäße Thätigkeit eines Organs; 4)… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • function — [n1] capacity, job action, activity, affair, behavior, business, charge, concern, duty, employment, exercise, faculty, goal, mark, mission, object, objective, occupation, office, operation, part, post, power, province, purpose, raison d’être*,… …   New thesaurus

  • function — ► NOUN 1) an activity that is natural to or the purpose of a person or thing. 2) a large or formal social event or ceremony. 3) a computer operation corresponding to a single instruction from the user. 4) Mathematics a relation or expression… …   English terms dictionary

  • Function — Func tion (f[u^][ng]k sh[u^]n), Functionate Func tion*ate, v. i. To execute or perform a function; to transact one s regular or appointed business. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • function — function, functionalism Although the use of the concepts of function and functionalism is usually associated with the work of Talcott Parsons in modern sociology, there is a long tradition of functional explanation in studying societies, and a… …   Dictionary of sociology


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