1. mathematics
    quantities that somehow serve to define or constrain a system, function, or dataset.
  2. computing
    values passed to a function or method.
  3. statistics
    values that represent characteristics of an entire population.
All terms


A parameter is a specific type of variable used in various fields like mathematics, statistics, and computer science, with different but related meanings.

In mathematics, a parameter is typically a quantity that influences the output of a function or system but remains constant within specific scenarios. For example, in the equation of a line , and are parameters that determine the slope and -intercept of the line, respectively.

In computer science, particularly in programming, parameters are values that are passed into a function or method. When a function is called, the parameters are the input data it works with to produce a result. For example, in a function that adds two numbers, the numbers to be added are parameters.

In statistics, parameters are values that represent the characteristics of an entire population. For instance, the mean and standard deviation are parameters that can describe the distribution of a population.

Despite the differences in context, the common thread among these uses of “parameter” is that they refer to quantities or pieces of data that somehow serve to define or constrain a system, function, or dataset.

Related Terms


A variable is a symbol that represents an unknown or indeterminant quantity. Variables can represent numbers, vectors, or other mathematical objects, depending on the context.


A function is a mathematical relationship between two sets, called the domain and the codomain, in which each element in the domain corresponds to exactly one element in the codomain. Functions are often represented by equations, graphs, or tables and can model real-world scenarios or abstract concepts.