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[kuh m-bahy-nuh-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-, kom-buh-] /kəmˌbaɪ nəˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-, ˌkɒm bə-/
of, relating to, or involving the combination of elements, as in phonetics or music.
of or relating to the enumeration of the number of ways of doing some specific task or of arranging items in a specific configuration.
Mathematics. of or relating to combination, or the modes, properties, etc., of combinations.
Origin of combinatorial
1810-20; combinatory + -al1
Related forms
combinatorially, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for combinatorial
  • To us puzzle lovers, shoelaces provide a wealth of combinatorial delights.
  • Unfortunately, many drugs have structures so complex that they would be beyond the reach of present combinatorial methods.
  • When linguists sit down and calculate the possibilities, they are overwhelmed by a dizzying case of combinatorial explosion.
  • There he added hundreds of layers of texture and light, tweaking them for maximum combinatorial realism.
  • It is a superb way to introduce students to combinatorial mathematics, game theory, symmetry and probability.
  • Applying combinatorial chemistry and biology to food research.
British Dictionary definitions for combinatorial


/ˈkɒmbɪˌneɪtɪv; -nətɪv/
resulting from being, tending to be, or able to be joined or mixed together
(linguistics) (of a sound change) occurring only in specific contexts or as a result of some other factor, such as change of stress within a word Compare isolative (sense 1)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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