Etymology: Latin function-, functio performance, from fungi to perform; probably akin to Sanskrit bhuṅkte he enjoys
1. professional or official position ; occupation
2. the action for which a person or thing is specially fitted or used or for which a thing exists ; purpose
3. any of a group of related actions contributing to a larger action; especially the normal and specific contribution of a bodily part to the economy of a living organism
4. an official or formal ceremony or social gathering
a. a mathematical correspondence that assigns exactly one element of one set to each element of the same or another set
b. a variable (as a quality, trait, or measurement) that depends on and varies with another <height is a function of age>; also result <illnesses that are a function of stress> 6. characteristic behavior of a chemical compound due to a particular reactive unit; also functional group 7. a computer subroutine; specifically one that performs a calculation with variables provided by a program and supplies the program with a single result • functionless adjective Synonyms: function, office, duty, province mean the acts or operations expected of a person or thing. function implies a definite end or purpose that the one in question serves or a particular kind of work it is intended to perform <the function of language is two-fold: to communicate emotion and to give information — Aldous Huxley>. office is typically applied to the function or service expected of a person by reason of a trade or profession or a special relationship to others <they exercise the offices of the judge, the priest, the counsellor — W. E. Gladstone>. duty applies to a task or responsibility imposed by one's occupation, rank, status, or calling <it is the judicial duty of the court, to examine the whole case — R. B. Taney>. province applies to a function, office, or duty that naturally or logically falls to one <I felt it was not my province to inquire — Anne Brontë>. II. intransitive verb (functioned; functioning) Date: 1856 1. to have a function ; serve <an attributive noun functions as an adjective> 2. to carry on a function or be in action ; operate <a government functions through numerous divisions>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.