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in business: see trusttrust,
in law, arrangement whereby property legally owned by one person is administered for the benefit of another. Three parties are ordinarily needed for the relation to arise: the settlor, who bequeaths or deeds the property for another's benefit; the trustee, in whose hands
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(in Russian, kombinatsiia). (1) An interdependent union, connection, or arrangement of several objects or component parts (elements) of a single object.

(2) A set of procedures for carrying out a complex plan, such as a chess combination.

(3) A contrivance, trick, or subterfuge; a deliberate maneuver to achieve a mercenary or other improper goal (commercial combination; political combination).

(4) An item of women’s underclothing (a slip).



in mathematics. Combinations of n elements taken k at a time are sets that contain k of the n elements and that differ from each other in at least one element. The number of combinations of n elements, k at a time, is denoted by Combination, C (n, k), or Combination and is equal to n!/k!(n - k)! (seeCOMBINATORICS).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A selection of one or more of the elements of a given set without regard to order.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a. the set of numbers that opens a combination lock
b. the mechanism of this type of lock
2. Brit a motorcycle with a sidecar attached
3. Maths
a. an arrangement of the numbers, terms, etc., of a set into specified groups without regard to order in the group
b. a group formed in this way. The number of combinations of n objects taken r at a time is n!/[(n -- r)!r!]. Symbol: nCr
4. the chemical reaction of two or more compounds, usually to form one other compound
5. Chess a tactical manoeuvre involving a sequence of moves and more than one piece
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


A set containing a certain number of objects selected from another set.

The number of combinations of r objects chosen from a set of n is

n C r = n! / ((n-r)! r!)

where "n C r" is normally with n and r as subscripts or as n above r in parentheses.

See also permutation.


In the theory of combinators, a combination denotes an expression in which function application is the only operation.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
We use this theory to develop hypotheses for both the direct and, more importantly, combinative effects of selected national culture and institutional variables on nation-level rates of OE.
However, it is these very combinative qualities that, in places such as Hettonbury and Romsworth, have led to (especially intergenerational) social tensions.
Subsequently, our work focuses on finding a solution to that combinative problem: What are the best settings which create an efficient genetic variant to solve the Traveling Salesman Problem?
[paragraph] 13 A common problem with this combinative method is that most analysts rely on manuals to interpret the data, but these manuals do not always contain accurate spectra.
Knowledge of the firm, combinative capacities and the replication of technology.
(7) Bruce Kogut and Udo Zander "Knowledge of the Firm, Combinative Capabilities, and the Replication of Technology," Organization Science 3 (Aug.
Dr Murtaza Mughal said that the combinative effect of these inputs would hit farmers by around 28-30 billion rupees which would make the subsidy a joke He said that a good number of sugar mills were not willing to start crushing adding to the problems of farmers.
This fact implies that similar problems do not really measure the combinative skills of our students but their persistence, patience and vigilance.
Knowledge of the Organization, Combinative Capabilities, and the Replication of Technology, Organization Science 3: 383-397.
Zander, Udo (1992) (1977) Technology Knowledge of the firm, transfer by combinative multinational firms: capabilities, and the the resource costs of replication of transferring technology.