# Definify.com

{

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## Al′go-rithm

, }
Noun.
[OE.
algorism
,
algrim
,
augrim
, OF.
algorisme
, F.
algorithme
(cf. Sp.
algoritmo
, OSp.
alguarismo
, LL.
algorismus
), fr. the Ar.
al-Khowārezmī
of Khowārezm, the modern Khiwa, surname of Abu Ja’far Mohammed ben Musā, author of a work on arithmetic early in the 9th century, which was translated into Latin, such books bearing the name
algorismus
. The spelling with
th
is due to a supposed connection with Gr. [GREEK] number.]
1.
The art of calculating by nine figures and zero; computation with Arabic figures.
3.
The art of calculating with any species of notation;
as, the
algorithms
of fractions, proportions, surds, etc.

## AL'GORITHM

, or AL'GORISM,
Noun.
An arabic term, signifying numerical computation, or the six operations of arithmetic.

# algorithm

## English

### Noun

algorithm (plural algorithms)

1. Ordered steps that solve a mathematical problem. A precise step-by-step plan for a computational procedure that possibly begins with an input value and yields an output value in a finite number of steps.
• 1990, Cormen, Leiserson, and Rivest, Introduction to Algorithms: page 1. Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 1999 (23rd printing)
Informally, an algorithm is any well-defined computational procedure that takes some value, or set of values, as input and produces some value, or set of values, as output. An algorithm is thus a sequence of computational steps that transform the input into the output.
• 2013 July 26, Leo Hickman, How algorithms rule the world”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 7, page 26:
The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. And, as their ubiquity spreads, so too does the debate around whether we should allow ourselves to become so reliant on them – and who, if anyone, is policing their use.
2. (archaic) Calculation with Arabic numerals; algorism.

#### Usage notes

• Though some technical definitions require that an algorithm always terminate in a finite number of steps, this distinction is not generally observed in practice.

## Scots

### Etymology

From English algorithm.

### Noun

algorithm (plural algorithms)

1. algorithm