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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 ?
In this dialogue, the whole argument in behalf of slavery was brought forward by the master, all of which was disposed of by the slave.
She is or will one day be a wife, and will contradict her husband with scraps of your arguments.
The executioner's argument was, that you couldn't cut off a head unless there was a body to cut it off from: that he had never had to do such a thing before, and he wasn't going to begin at HIS time of life.
Putting this, however, aside, for it is a puzzling question for which it is difficult to find a solution, let us return to the superiority of arms over letters, a matter still undecided, so many are the arguments put forward on each side; for besides those I have mentioned, letters say that without them arms cannot maintain themselves, for war, too, has its laws and is governed by them, and laws belong to the domain of letters and men of letters.
My arguments will be open to all, and may be judged of by all.
A regard for the requester would often make one readily yield to a request, without waiting for arguments to reason one into it.
SOME, in their discourse, desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgment, in discerning what is true; as if it were a praise, to know what might be said, and not, what should be thought.
She respected their arguments without always listening to them, much as she respected a solid brick wall, or one of those immense municipal buildings which, although they compose the greater part of our cities, have been built day after day and year after year by unknown hands.
A man might see good arguments for changing once, and not see them for changing again," said Lydgate, amused with the decisive old lady.
Good whale-boat sailors do not necessarily make good schooner- handlers," she replied to one of his arguments.
Overwhelmed at first under this violent shock, he by and by recovered himself, and resolved to crush the proposal by weight of his arguments.
He was indeed, according to the vulgar phrase, whistle drunk; for before he had swallowed the third bottle, he became so entirely overpowered that though he was not carried off to bed till long after, the parson considered him as absent, and having acquainted the other squire with all relating to Sophia, he obtained his promise of seconding those arguments which he intended to urge the next morning for Mr Western's return.

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