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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 periodicals archive ?
Delivering judgment on the application for leave to seek a judicial review, Mr Justice Treacy held there was an arguable case on one ground alleging a breach of the teenager's right to privacy under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Justice Burton said, "It seems to me you have an arguable case worthy of further development that the admitted failure by Granada to mention your 'significant view' renders the decision in breach of the (ITC) code of conduct, and is perverse.
The judge said: "It seems to me there is an arguable question here as to whether the guilt or innocence of these men goes to the issue which the tribunal should properly be considering.
Yet we can get even money today about a corner within eight minutes at Fratton Park, even though it is arguable that the total corners expectation should be slightly higher than 10.
You should ensure that you see a specialist personal injury solicitor (such as someone on the Law Society's Personal Injury panel) who would probably be willing to take your case on a "no win no fee" basis if they thought you had an arguable case.
Mr Justice Forbes, sitting in London, ruled the board had "an arguable case" but added that he was not saying he thought it would succeed at the full hearing.
This merger combines the top producer of PC hardware and Intel-based servers with the arguable leader in both NT clustering technologies and high-availability computing in general," said Evan Bauer, Vice President of Research, Giga Information Group.
The only arguable exception is health service staff, as they work harder than anyone else for their money.
It is arguable that the spread bookings index is as high as it reasonably could be at 40 with Sporting.
To listen to some voters, racing three times in this country would be enough, twice would be arguable, but once is too few.
Mr Justice Ferris said the Home Secretary had an arguable case that the damage that would be caused to the prison service by the meetings would be a breach of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.
Greenpeace said they would fight on because at no point had a court disputed that they had an arguable case.