<computer programming> (Or "arg") A value or reference passed to a function, procedure, subroutine, command or program, by the caller. For example, in the function definition

square(x) = x * x

x is the formal argument or "parameter", and in the call

y = square(3+4)

3+4 is the actual argument. This will execute the function square with x having the value 7 and return the result 49.

There are many different conventions for passing arguments to functions and procedures including call-by-value, call-by-name, call-by-reference, call-by-need. These affect whether the value of the argument is computed by the caller or the callee (the function) and whether the callee can modify the value of the argument as seen by the caller (if it is a variable).

Arguments to functions are usually, following mathematical notation, written in parentheses after the function name, separated by commas (but see curried function). Arguments to a program are usually given after the command name, separated by spaces, e.g.:

cat myfile yourfile hisfile

Here "cat" is the command and "myfile", "yourfile", and "hisfile" are the arguments.

Abbreviation: arg

(01 Nov 2006)

Argonz-Del Castillo syndrome, Argonz, J, argulus < Prev | Next > argument, argument, Argus, argus

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Abbreviation: arg

(14 Jan 2009)

Argonz-Del Castillo syndrome, Argonz, J, argulus, argument < Prev | Next > argument, Argus, argus, argus shell

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1. Proof; evidence. "There is. No more palpable and convincing argument of the existence of a Deity." (Ray) "Why, then, is it made a badge of wit and an argument of parts for a man to commence atheist, and to cast off all belief of providence, all awe and reverence for religion?" (South)

2. A reason or reasons offered in proof, to induce belief, or convince the mind; reasoning expressed in words; as, an argument about, concerning, or regarding a proposition, for or in favor of it, or against it.

3. A process of reasoning, or a controversy made up of rational proofs; argumentation; discussion; disputation. "The argument is about things, but names." (Locke)

4. The subject matter of a discourse, writing, or artistic representation; theme or topic; also, an abstract or summary, as of the contents of a book, chapter, poem. "You and love are still my argument." (Shak) "The abstract or argument of the piece." (Jeffrey) "[Shields] with boastful argument portrayed." (Milton)

5. Matter for question; business in hand. "Sheathed their swords for lack of argument." (Shak)

6. <astronomy> The quantity on which another quantity in a table depends; as, the altitude is the argument of the refraction.

7. <mathematics> The independent variable upon whose value that of a function depends.

Origin: F. Argument, L. Argumentum, fr. Arguere to argue.

Abbreviation: arg

(01 Mar 1998)

Argonz, J, argulus, argument, argument < Prev | Next > Argus, argus, argus shell

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