parameter

One of many dimensions or ways of measuring or describing an object or evaluating a subject : 1. In a mathematical expression, an arbitrary constant that can possess different values, each value defining other expressions, and can determine the specific form but not the general nature of the expression; e.g., in the equation y = a + bx, a and b are parameters. 2. In statistics, a term used to define a characteristic of a population, in contrast to a sample from that population; e.g., the mean and standard deviation of a total population. 3. In psychoanalysis, any tactic, other than interpretation, used by the analyst to further the patient's progress. [para- + G. metron, measure]
- enzyme parameters those factors and constants that govern the rate of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction, e.g., Vmax and Km.
- infection transmission p. the proportion of total possible contacts between infectious cases and susceptibles that lead to new infections. SEE ALSO: serial interval, mass action principle.
- practice parameters SYN: practice guidelines, under guideline.

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n.
(in medicine) a measurement of some factor, such as blood pressure, pulse rate, or haemoglobin level, that may have a bearing on the condition being investigated.

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pa·ram·e·ter (pə-ramґə-tər) [para- + -meter] 1. a constant in a mathematical expression that distinguishes specific cases, having a definite, fixed value in one case but different values in other cases. For example, in the equation of a straight line, y = mx + b, m and b are parameters that specify a particular straight line; changing m changes the slope of the line, while changing b changes the point at which the line crosses the y-axis. 2. in statistics, a value that specifies one of the various members of a family of probability distributions, e.g., the mean or variance of a normal distribution. A parameter is often thought of as the “true value” or “population value” as opposed to the observed value or sample value. 3. a variable whose measure is indicative of a quantity or function that cannot itself be precisely determined by direct methods; e.g., blood pressure and pulse rate are parameters of cardiovascular function, and the level of glucose in blood and urine is a parameter of carbohydrate metabolism.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Parameter — Parameter, im allgemeinen jede Größe, die in einer Funktion neben den. Veränderlichen enthalten ist. Bei einem Kegelschnitt (s.d.) ist der Parameter die Länge der im Brennpunkt auf der Hauptachse senkrechten Sehne. Der Halbparameter ist der… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • parameter — In technical use, a parameter is a measurable factor that contributes to determining a system or event. In the 20c it developed rapidly into the kind of word that Fowler (1926) described as a ‘popularized technicality’, many instances of which he …   Modern English usage

  • Parameter — Pa*ram e*ter, n. [Pref. para + meter: cf. F. param[ e]tre.] 1. A constant number which is part of a theory, function, or calculation, whose value is not determined by the form of the theory or equation itself, and may in some cases be arbitrary… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • parameter — (n.) 1650s, from Mod.L. parameter (1630s), from Gk. para beside, subsidiary + metron measure (see METER (Cf. meter) (n.2)). A geometry term until 1920s when it yielded sense of measurable factor which helps to define a particular system (1927).… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Paramĕter — (gr.), jede Constante, welche in der Gleichung einer geraden Linie vorkommt. P. einer Parabel, die durch den Brennpunkt der Parabel gelegte, auf der Achse senkrecht stehende Sehne. Ist also y2 = px die Scheitelgleichung der Parabel für… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Parameter — (griech., Nebenmaß) einer Funktion, Gleichung, Kurve oder Fläche heißt jede unbestimmte Konstante, von der die Funktion etc. abhängt und durch deren verschiedene Wahl sich die Gestalt der Funktion etc. ändert. Über P. bei den Kegelschnitten s. d …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Parameter — Paramĕter (grch.), jede in der Gleichung einer Kurve vorkommende Konstante; bei einem Kegelschnitt die durch den Brennpunkt gehende, auf der Hauptachse senkrechte Sehne …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Parameter — Parameter, in der Geometrie doppelte Ordinate, die durch den Brennpunkt eines Kegelschnitts geht. Vergl. Ellipse, Hyperbel, Parabel …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • parameter — index guideline Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Parameter — (matematik), når man i analytisk geometri lader nogle af konstanterne i ligningen for en kurve eller flade efterhånden antager alle mulige værider, vil ligningen komme til at fremstille uendelig mange kurver eller flader med visse fælles… …   Danske encyklopædi

  • parameter — [n] limit constant, criterion, framework, guideline, limitation, restriction, specification; concept 688 …   New thesaurus

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