Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “function”


noun     /ˈfʌŋkʃən/
[C or U] the purpose that something has: The perfect marriage between product design and function account for the company’s success in the computer market. A fundamental function of the Bank of England is the responsibility of carrying out monetary policy operations.
[C or U] a job or task that someone or something does: My function is to help coordinate efficient communication between the departments. carry out/perform a function
[C] HR a particular area of responsibility of a company: a sales/marketing/business functioncore/corporate functions Of all the core functions of most companies, innovation has arguably the most competitive value.
[C] IT a process which a computer or a software program uses to complete a task: a search/save/sort function The website benefits from a highly-efficient search function.
[C] an official occasion or event attended by many people: a charity/social/work function
be a function of sth if something is a function of something else, it is produced as the result of that thing or process: The increased availability of part-time jobs is a function of the structural changes in the labour market.
→ See also consumption function
(Definition of function noun from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of function

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Goals and purposes, but you might be interested in these topics from the Using and not using topic area:

Definitions of “function” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


an ability to do things in the stated, especially positive, way

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More