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1. Logic
a. a process of deductive or inductive reasoning that purports to show its conclusion to be true
b. formally, a sequence of statements one of which is the conclusion and the remainder the premises
2. Logic an obsolete name for the middle term of a syllogism
3. Maths
a. an element to which an operation, function, predicate, etc., applies, esp the independent variable of a function
b. another name for amplitude (sense 5) of a complex number


An angle or arc, as in argument of perigee.
(computer science)
A value applied to a procedure, subroutine, or macroinstruction which is required in order to evaluate any of these.


(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.


In programming, a value that is passed between programs, subroutines or functions. Arguments are independent items, or variables, that contain data or codes. When an argument is used to customize a program for a user, it is typically called a "parameter." See argc.
References in classic literature ?
Katharine went over the argument in her mind, remembering how, now and then, it had been set conspicuously on the right course by some remark offered either by James or by Johnnie.
She looked at him, and from his fixed stare she thought that he must be working out some theory, some argument.
Then he analyzes the argument itself, in such terms as the argument from likelihood, roots and varieties of the peritrope, the contrasting arguments antilogoi and antithesis, witness testimony and the appeal to character, and justice and the value of sophistic argument.
God and Phenomenal Consciousness: A Novel Approach to Knowledge Arguments.
These are central to the arguments of fundamentalists and ideologues, Farrell said.
Supreme court junkies, rejoice: The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that, starting with the January 2008 term, video and audio recordings of oral arguments before the court will be posted and archived on its Web site.
The pamphlet is setting a record for the number of arguments on a single measure - in this case, Measure 49, which revises the 2004 property-rights initiative, Measure 37.
Of course, the likelihood that a case is close increases at each appellate level, as parties should be less inclined over time to pursue arguments that have little chance of success, and controlling precedent is less likely to exist as the case survives various levels of appellate review.
They then add secondary negative arguments that these parts could not have come together via known natural processes.
By teaching students the basic process of identifying a position to which they are responding and the ways in which their own views correspond or differ, Graff found that the focus and clarity of his students' arguments improved dramatically.
Martha Bailey isn't shy about making slippery slope arguments (to encourage the slip, not to fight it).

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