, an argument of a function
is a value that must be provided to obtain the function's result. It is also called an independent variable
For example, the binary function
has two arguments,
, in an ordered pair
. The hypergeometric function
is an example of a four-argument function. The number of arguments that a function takes is called the arity
of the function. A function that takes a single argument as input (such as
) is called a unary function
. A function of two or more variables is considered to have a domain
consisting of ordered pairs or tuple
s of argument values. The argument of a circular function
is an angle
. The argument of a hyperbolic function
is a hyperbolic angle
A mathematical function has one or more arguments in the form of independent variables designated in the definition, which can also contain parameter
s. The independent variables are mentioned in the list of arguments that the function takes, whereas the parameters are not. For example, in the logarithmic function
is considered a parameter.
s can be used to denote arguments. For example, we can use subscripts to denote the arguments with respect to which partial derivative
s are taken.
The use of the term "argument" in this sense developed from astronomy
, which historically used tables to determine the spatial positions of planets from their positions in the sky. These tables were organized according to measured angles called arguments, literally "that which elucidates something else."
*Domain of a function
*Parameter (computer programming)