A permutation is a change or variation, like the many possible permutations of hair color you get when you start experimenting with different dyes.

Permutation is made of the prefix per for "thoroughly" and mutation, which means “change.” A permutation is a thorough change of something, like a substitution. Asking a waiter to give you sweet potato fries instead of regular fries is a permutation. Switching hats with a friend is a permutation. If you switch hats with five of your friends, you'll have many fashion permutations to choose from. Permutations are also like replacements or switches.

Definitions of permutation

n complete change in character or condition

“"the permutations...taking place in the physical world"- Henry Miller”
Type of:
transformation, translation
the act of changing in form or shape or appearance

n act of changing the lineal order of objects in a group

Type of:
a rearrangement in a different order

n the act of changing the arrangement of a given number of elements

Type of:
mathematical operation, mathematical process, operation
(mathematics) calculation by mathematical methods

n an event in which one thing is substituted for another

replacement, substitution, switch, transposition
Type of:
fluctuation, variation
an instance of change; the rate or magnitude of change

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