# Permutations

## permutation

[pur-myoo-tey-shuhn]
noun
1.
the act of permuting or permutating; alteration; transformation.
2.
Mathematics.
a.
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.
b.
any of the resulting arrangements or groups. Compare combination ( def 8b ).

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English permutacioun (< Middle French permutacion) < Latin permūtātiōn- (stem of permūtātiō) thoroughgoing change. See per-, mutation, permute

permutationist, noun

1. modification, transmutation, change.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
 permutation (ˌpɜːmjʊˈteɪʃən) —n 1. maths a.  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 b.  Compare combination nPr a group formed in this way. The number of permutations of n objects taken r at a time is n!/(n--r)! 2. a combination of items made by reordering 3. an alteration; transformation 4. Usually shortened to: perm a fixed combination for selections of results on football pools [C14: from Latin permūtātiō, from permūtāre to change thoroughly; see mutation] permu'tational —adj

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

permutation
mid-14c., from O.Fr. permutacion (14c.), from L. permutationem (nom. permutatio), from permutatus, pp. of permutare "change thoroughly, exchange," from per- "thoroughly" + mutare "to change" (see mutable).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The technical permutations filled notebooks, then a filing cabinet.
Over months, the fastest permutations of sails and trim will be studied.
But even gene scientists today say they are struggling with the many
permutations of those four molecules.
It is about training the brain to see possibilities and permutations in the
larger world.
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