Parameter
Parameter Pa*ram"e*ter, n. [Pref. para- + -meter: cf. F. param[`e]tre.] 1. A constant number which is part of a theory, function, or calculation, whose value is not determined by the form of the theory or equation itself, and may in some cases be arbitrary assigned. [PJC]

2. Specifically: (a) (Math.) A term applied to some characteristic magnitude whose value, invariable as long as one and the same function, curve, surface, etc., is considered, serves to distinguish that function, curve, surface, etc., from others of the same kind or family. --Brande & C. (b) (Conic Sections) (in the ellipse and hyperbola), a third proportional to any diameter and its conjugate, or in the parabola, to any abscissa and the corresponding ordinate. [1913 Webster]

Note: The parameter of the principal axis of a conic section is called the latus rectum. [1913 Webster]

3. (Science) Any constant number which is required to calculate values of observed phenomena according to a theory, but the value of which must be determined by experiment, and cannot be calculated from the fundamental assumptions of the theory. In general, a theory which has a large number of parameters, though it may accurately predict experimental results, is considered as having less explanatory power and as being less esthetically pleasing than a theory with fewer parameters. [PJC]

4. (Crystallog.) The ratio of the three crystallographic axes which determines the position of any plane; also, the fundamental axial ratio for a given species. [1913 Webster]

5. The limits, guidelines, or assumptions from within which an activity is carried out; as, new arrivals need to learn the parameters of the research in our department. [PJC]

6. (Computers) A variable used in a calculation within a computer program which must be assigned a value before the calculation can be performed; as, let's plug in the parameters and see what the result is. [PJC]

7. A characteristic or element, especially one used as a criterion for evaluation or judgment; as, a useful parameter for determining efficiency. [PJC]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Parameter — Parameter, im allgemeinen jede Größe, die in einer Funktion neben den. Veränderlichen enthalten ist. Bei einem Kegelschnitt (s.d.) ist der Parameter die Länge der im Brennpunkt auf der Hauptachse senkrechten Sehne. Der Halbparameter ist der… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • parameter — In technical use, a parameter is a measurable factor that contributes to determining a system or event. In the 20c it developed rapidly into the kind of word that Fowler (1926) described as a ‘popularized technicality’, many instances of which he …   Modern English usage

  • parameter — (n.) 1650s, from Mod.L. parameter (1630s), from Gk. para beside, subsidiary + metron measure (see METER (Cf. meter) (n.2)). A geometry term until 1920s when it yielded sense of measurable factor which helps to define a particular system (1927).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Paramĕter — (gr.), jede Constante, welche in der Gleichung einer geraden Linie vorkommt. P. einer Parabel, die durch den Brennpunkt der Parabel gelegte, auf der Achse senkrecht stehende Sehne. Ist also y2 = px die Scheitelgleichung der Parabel für… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Parameter — (griech., Nebenmaß) einer Funktion, Gleichung, Kurve oder Fläche heißt jede unbestimmte Konstante, von der die Funktion etc. abhängt und durch deren verschiedene Wahl sich die Gestalt der Funktion etc. ändert. Über P. bei den Kegelschnitten s. d …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Parameter — Paramĕter (grch.), jede in der Gleichung einer Kurve vorkommende Konstante; bei einem Kegelschnitt die durch den Brennpunkt gehende, auf der Hauptachse senkrechte Sehne …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Parameter — Parameter, in der Geometrie doppelte Ordinate, die durch den Brennpunkt eines Kegelschnitts geht. Vergl. Ellipse, Hyperbel, Parabel …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • parameter — index guideline Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Parameter — (matematik), når man i analytisk geometri lader nogle af konstanterne i ligningen for en kurve eller flade efterhånden antager alle mulige værider, vil ligningen komme til at fremstille uendelig mange kurver eller flader med visse fælles… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • parameter — [n] limit constant, criterion, framework, guideline, limitation, restriction, specification; concept 688 …   New thesaurus

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”