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permutation

[pur-myoo-tey-shuh n] /ˌpɜr myʊˈteɪ ʃən/
noun
1.
the act of permuting or permutating; alteration; transformation.
2.
Mathematics.
  1. the act of changing the order of elements arranged in a particular order, as abc into acb, bac, etc., or of arranging a number of elements in groups made up of equal numbers of the elements in different orders, as a and b in ab and ba; a one-to-one transformation of a set with a finite number of elements.
  2. any of the resulting arrangements or groups.
    Compare combination (def 8b).
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English permutacioun (< Middle French permutacion) < Latin permūtātiōn- (stem of permūtātiō) thoroughgoing change. See per-, mutation, permute
Related forms
permutational, adjective
permutationist, noun
Synonyms
1. modification, transmutation, change.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for permutationist

permutation

/ˌpɜːmjʊˈteɪʃən/
noun
1.
(maths)
  1. an ordered arrangement of the numbers, terms, etc, of a set into specified groups: the permutations of a, b, and c, taken two at a time, are ab, ba, ac, ca, bc, cb
  2. a group formed in this way. The number of permutations of n objects taken r at a time is n!/(nr)! nPr Compare combination (sense 6)
2.
a combination of items made by reordering
3.
an alteration; transformation
4.
a fixed combination for selections of results on football pools Usually shortened to perm
Derived Forms
permutational, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Latin permūtātiō, from permūtāre to change thoroughly; see mutation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for permutationist

permutation

n.

mid-14c., from Old French permutacion "change, shift" (14c.), from Latin permutationem (nominative permutatio) "a change, alteration, revolution," noun of action from past participle stem of permutare "change thoroughly, exchange," from per- "thoroughly" (see per) + mutare "to change" (see mutable).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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