Skip to Content


Pronunciation: funk'shun


  1. The special action or physiologic property of an organ or other part of the body.
  2. To perform its special work or office, said of an organ or other part of the body.
  3. The general properties of any substance, depending on its chemical character and relation to other substances, according to which it may be grouped (acids, bases, alcohols, esters).
  4. A particular reactive grouping in a molecule, a functional group, such as the –OH group of an alcohol.
  5. A quality, trait, or fact that is so related to another as to be dependent on and to vary with this other.
  6. A mathematic variable or expression.

[L. functio, fr. fungor, pp. functus, to perform]

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.