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used in a sentence
6 meanings
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1  —as in:
Its main function is to...
Definition purpose, job, or natural activity
  • The function of the lens of the eye is to focus light on the retina.
function = job or purpose
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Scientist do not know all the functions that the nutrient performs.
  • functions = purposes or natural activities
  • Without wisdom I could not fulfill my function of advising the Committee of Elders when they call upon me.
    Lois Lowry  --  The Giver
  • function = job
  • It is your duty as a magistrate, and I believe and hope that your feelings as a man will not revolt from the execution of those functions on this occasion.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • functions = responsibilities (jobs)
  • His function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt towards an individual than towards an organization.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • function = job
  • This was the first time he had admitted the double function of the fire. Certainly one was to send up a beckoning column of smoke; but the other was to be a hearth now and a comfort until they slept.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • function = purpose
  • Simply, it was this: for good purposes, even high purposes, the people of Salem developed a theocracy, a combine of state and religious power whose function was to keep the community together, and to prevent any kind of disunity that might open it to destruction by material or ideological enemies.
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • function = purpose
  • Well, that's kind of complicated, Lizbeth, but essentially Wonderland records a virtual map of your cognitive functions.
    Rick Yancey  --  The 5th Wave
  • functions = activities or operations
  • The Algernon-Gordon Effect: A Study of Structure and Function of Increased Intelligence
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon — Novel
  • function = activity or operation
  • Nonetheless, as they navigated the deserted corridors, Trish gave him a general synopsis of the SMSC's purpose and function, including the various pods and their contents.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
function = operation

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
2  —as in:
can't function well without sleep
Definition work or operate — sometimes to work or operate normally or in a particular way
  • I don't function well on less than six hours of sleep a night; and I do best on nine.
function = work or operate
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • My brain does not function as well when I'm under stress.
  • function = work or operate
  • Moderate exercise improves brain function.
  • function = operation (how well it works)
  • The computer isn't functioning properly.
  • functioning = working or operating
  • The computer isn't functional.
  • functional = working
  • If the hurricane is bad, the school gym will function as an emergency shelter.
  • function = work or operate
  • The kitchen table also functions as a study desk.
  • functions = works or operates
  • It takes a moment for him to get his brain functioning again.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • functioning = working
  • The constant gunfire and curfews had made it impossible for the hospital to function, so he had moved it to Barikot.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • function = work or operate
  • Our militaries had been decimated, but there were still functional units on every continent.
    Rick Yancey  --  The 5th Wave
functional = able to work

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
3  —as in:
I'm attending a function tonight
Definition a social event or ceremony — especially one attended for work or out of a sense of duty
  • I promised to attend their function tonight. I think it's important that we show our support.
function = social event or ceremony
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She attends a lot of school functions.
  • functions = social events or ceremonies
  • It's a function celebrating gay rights.
  • function = social event or ceremony
  • I wanted to meet you all and see my sister again, but I hate it when these things turn into state functions.
    Kiera Cass  --  The Selection
  • functions = social events that are a duty
  • Look at me: the life of every social function in Paris.
    David Henry Hwang  --  M. Butterfly
  • function = social event
  • There weren't a lot of people who were equipped to babysit for Auggie, so Mom and Dad brought him to all my class plays and concerts and recitals, all the school functions, the bake sales and the book fairs.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • functions = social events
  • "It reminds me of a lower-caste Community Sing," she told Bernard. But a little later it was reminding her a good deal less of that innocuous function.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • function = social event or ceremony
  • In retrospect, and having now seen the child in question at various school functions and in the class pictures, I think it may have been too much to ask of our children to be able to process all that.
    R.J. Palacio  --  Wonder
  • functions = social events
  • It was a half-page torn out of The Times of about ten years earlier — the top half of the page, so that it included the date — and it contained a photograph of the delegates at some Party function in New York.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • function = event
  • It was another copy of the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford at the party function in New York, which he had chanced upon eleven years ago and promptly destroyed.
    George Orwell  --  1984
function = event

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
4  —as in:
oxygen is a function of altitude
Definition saying one results from another; or saying that the amount of one thing is dependent upon the value of another.
  • Their success is a function of their teamwork and practice.
function = result
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Expertise is largely a function of hours spent on task.
  • function = predictable value
  • Oxygen is a function of altitude.
  • It is possible that both the increased intelligence and the erratic behavior at this level were created by the original surgery, instead of one being a function of the other.
    Daniel Keyes  --  Flowers for Algernon — Novel
function = result

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
5  —as in:
Amazon's new search function
Definition computer code that performs a specific task
  • I like Amazon's new search function.
function = computer code that performs a specific task
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The program has a built-in function that does that with a single user request.
  • function = computer code that performs a specific task
  • There should be a search function.
    Rick Yancey  --  The 5th Wave
  • function = computer code that performs a specific task
  • Most databases have a search function built in—libraries, museums, universities, governments.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
function = computer code that performs a specific task

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
6  —as in:
a mathematical function
Definition a formula or mathematical expression that describes a relationship between variables
  • What is the function to calculate how much carpet is required to cover a rectangular room of a given length and width?
function = formula (a mathematical expression that describe a relationship between variables)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • Do you remember the function to calculate the area of a circle from its radius?
  • function = mathematical expression that describe a relationship between variables
  • Since there is less oxygen at high altitudes, to know how much oxygen is available at the top of any mountain, you will need a function that converts altitude to available oxygen.
function = formula (a mathematical expression that describe a relationship between variables)

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list —®
Less commonly:
For more specialized meanings in math and chemistry, see a comprehensive dictionary.
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