# parameter

A parameter is a limit. In mathematics a parameter is a constant in an equation, but parameter isn’t just for math anymore: now any system can have parameters that define its operation. You can set parameters for your class debate.

Parameter comes from a combination of the Greek word para-, meaning “beside,” and metron, meaning “measure.” The natural world sets certain parameters, like gravity and time. In court, the law defines the parameters of legal behavior. Parameter and perimeter are similar, but a perimeter is the physical distance around an object, while a parameter can contain or define something either physically or abstractly: before you marry, prepare for the parameters of monogamy.

## Primary Meanings of parameter

 1 n a constant in the equation of a curve that can be varied to yield a family of similar curves 2 n a quantity (such as the mean or variance) that characterizes a statistical population and that can be estimated by calculations from sample data
Full Definitions of parameter
1

### n a constant in the equation of a curve that can be varied to yield a family of similar curves

Synonyms:
parametric quantity
Types:
degree of freedom
one of the minimum number of parameters needed to describe the state of a physical system
Type of:
constant, constant quantity, invariable
a quantity that does not vary

### n any factor that defines a system and determines (or limits) its performance

Type of:
factor
anything that contributes causally to a result

### n (computer science) a reference or value that is passed to a function, procedure, subroutine, command, or program

Synonyms:
argument
Type of:
value
a numerical quantity measured or assigned or computed