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## parameter

```  3  definitions  found

From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]:

Parameter  \Pa*ram"e*ter\,  n.  [Pref.  para-  +  -meter:  cf  F.
param[`e]tre.]
1.
a  (Math.)  A  term  applied  to  some  characteristic
magnitude  whose  value,  invariable  as  long  as  one  and
the  same  function,  curve,  surface,  etc.,  is
considered,  serves  to  distinguish  that  function,
curve,  surface,  etc.,  from  others  of  the  same  kind  or
family.  --Brande  &  C.
b  Specifically  (Conic  Sections),  in  the  ellipse  and
hyperbola,  a  third  proportional  to  any  diameter  and
its  conjugate,  or  in  the  parabola,  to  any  abscissa  and
the  corresponding  ordinate.

Note:  The  parameter  of  the  principal  axis  of  a  conic  section
is  called  the  latus  rectum.

2.  (Crystallog.)  The  ratio  of  the  three  crystallographic  axes
which  determines  the  position  of  any  plane;  also  the
fundamental  axial  ratio  for  a  given  species.

From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]:

parameter
n  1:  a  constant  in  the  equation  of  a  curve  that  can  be  varied  to
yield  a  family  of  similar  curves  [syn:  {parametric
quantity}]
2:  any  factor  that  defines  a  system  and  determines  (or  limits)
its  performance
3:  a  quantity  (such  as  the  mean  or  variance)  that  characterizes
a  statistical  population  and  that  can  be  estimated  by
calculations  from  sample  data

From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]:

parameter

{argument}

```