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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 ?
ye knew me once no mate For you, there sitting where ye durst not soare; Not to know mee argues your selves unknown, The lowest of your throng; or if ye know, Why ask ye, and superfluous begin Your message, like to end as much in vain?
To say and strait unsay, pretending first Wise to flie pain, professing next the Spie, Argues no Leader, but a lyar trac't, SATAN, and couldst thou faithful add?
I would not argue with any man less than six inches high
We may trace them in language, in philosophy, in mythology, in poetry, but we cannot argue a priori about them.
It's THERE, and all the infidels and heretics in the world can't argue it away, any more'n they can argue God away.
He is ironical, provoking, questioning, the old enemy of the Sophists, ready to put on the mask of Silenus as well as to argue seriously.
Pinocchio was not given time to argue any longer, for he thought he heard a slight rustle among the leaves behind him.
Those who argue that matter is the reality and mind a mere property of protoplasm are called "materialists.
And the professor had promptly appeared to argue the matter out.
But I will represent to you at once, that to argue against it with me is useless.
They can put those events together in their minds, and argue from them that something will come to pass.
For example, when he says that it is absurd to suppose that one man is the corrupter and all the rest of the world the improvers of the youth; or, when he argues that he never could have corrupted the men with whom he had to live; or, when he proves his belief in the gods because he believes in the sons of gods, is he serious or jesting?