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function
Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2004 

(1) In programming, a named section of a program that performs a specific task. In this sense, a function is a type of procedure or routine. Some programming languages make a distinction between a function, which returns a value, and a procedure, which performs some operation but does not return a value.

Most programming languages come with a prewritten set of functions that are kept in a library. You can also write your own functions to perform specialized tasks.

(2) The term function is also used synonymously with operation and command. For example, you execute the delete function to erase a word.

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related categories

Procedures, Functions and Routines

related terms

aggregate function

command

event handler

library

procedure

program

routine

user defined function


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