ETYM Latin functio, from fungi to perform, execute, akin to Skr. bhuj to enjoy, have the use of: cf. French fonction. Related to Defunct.
1. What something is used for; SYN. purpose, role, use.
2. A relation such that one thing is dependent on another.
3. The actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group; SYN. office, part, role.
4. A mathematical relation such that each element of one set is associated with at least one element of another set; SYN. mathematical function.
5. A formal or official social gathering or ceremony.
ETYM French part, Latin pars, gen. partis; cf. parere to bring forth, produce. Related to Parent, Depart, Parcel, Partner, Party, Portion.
1. A portion of a natural object; SYN. piece.
2. Something less than the whole of a human artifact; SYN. portion.
3. Something determined in relation to something that includes it; SYN. portion, component part, component.
4. One of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole; SYN. section, division.
5. The melody carried by a particular voice or instrument in polyphonic music; SYN. voice.
6. So far as concerns the actor specified; or.
7. A line where the hair is parted.
Written music designated for an individual musician or group of musicians, for example the “soprano part”, in contrast to a score, which provides all the parts on each page. A part, or voice, can also be an independent line of a contrapuntal work, for example a fugue in four parts.
A large-scale section of a composition is also called a part, for example Part I of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius 1900.
Normal or customary activity.
In the social sciences, the part(s) a person plays in society, either in helping the social system to work or in fulfilling social responsibilities toward others. Role play refers to the way in which children learn adult roles by acting them out in play (mothers and fathers, cops and robbers). Everyone has a number of roles to play in a society: for example, a woman may be an employee, mother, and wife at the same time.
Sociologists distinguish between formal roles, such as those of a doctor or politician, and informal roles, such as those of mother or husband, which are based on personal relationships. Social roles involve mutual expectations: a doctor can fulfill that role only if the patients play their part; a father requires the support of his children. They also distinguish between ascribed roles (those we are born with) and achieved roles (those we attain).
Role conflict arises where two or more of a person's roles are seen as incompatible—for example, a woman who is a daughter to a sick mother and mother to a sick husband or child.