Pronunciation: (pu-ram'i-tur), [key]
1. Math.
a. a constant or variable term in a function that determines the specific form of the function but not its general nature, as a in f(x) = ax, where a determines only the slope of the line described by f(x).
b. one of the independent variables in a set of parametric equations.
2. Statistics.a variable entering into the mathematical form of any distribution such that the possible values of the variable correspond to different distributions.
3. Computers.a variable that must be given a specific value during the execution of a program or of a procedure within a program.
4. Usually, parameters. limits or boundaries; guidelines: the basic parameters of our foreign policy.
5. characteristic or factor; aspect; element: a useful parameter for judging long-term success.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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