Definition of permutation in US English:



  • 1A way, especially one of several possible variations, in which a set or number of things can be ordered or arranged.

    ‘his thoughts raced ahead to fifty different permutations of what he must do’
    • ‘Other permutations of the five cards can give different values for the longest increasing subsequence.’
    • ‘Old insights are merely recycled in different permutations against a backdrop of current circumstances.’
    • ‘Clearly, the possible number of permutations is gigantic.’
    • ‘Now, since we're considering order, each of these combinations has a number of permutations.’
    • ‘We will give a proof here, independent of Wilson's theorem, that all permutations are possible.’
    • ‘This procedure was repeated for 10 random permutations of trajectory orders.’
    • ‘With so many different home loan permutations and cost factors to be taken into consideration, it's not surprising that many buyers are bewildered.’
    • ‘Some of these parameters change rapidly, others very slowly, and the possible permutations are nearly infinite.’
    • ‘How does the counter generate the correct permutation of the binary numerals?’
    • ‘The possible permutations of the final four are intriguing.’
    • ‘This procedure is repeated until all possible permutations of experimental conditions to the data have been calculated.’
    • ‘Many other permutations of the alternatives presented are certainly possible.’
    • ‘In effect, each row is a permutation of four distinct numbers.’
    • ‘There are 16 different permutations for a possible World Series matchup this season.’
    • ‘I have seen the slogan in a hundred different permutations.’
    • ‘For example, there are six permutations of order of appearance for the three evolutionary splits mentioned above.’
    • ‘One example he gives is the number of permutations possible with 59 objects - only slightly more than a deck of cards.’
    • ‘Ideally, we would list all possible permutations of the ESP matrix.’
    • ‘With this scenario, the fragmented delegate count produces several possible permutations.’
    • ‘The possible permutations of ordering the seven stamps determined the need for 42 collages.’
    temperament, nature, character, constitution, make-up, grain, humour, temper, mentality, turn of mind
    arrangement, order, grouping, disposition, presentation, sorting, organization, combination, variation, transformation, transposition
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Mathematics The action of changing the arrangement, especially the linear order, of a set of items.
      • ‘The statistical significance of this test is calculated by permutation.’
      • ‘All significance thresholds were determined empirically by permutation’
      • ‘The statistical significance of the values was estimated by permutation analysis using 1,000 replications.’
      • ‘A simple position permutation was also used to generate random sequences.’
      • ‘Chromosome-wide significance thresholds were determined by permutation as previously described.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘exchange, barter’): via Old French from Latin permutatio(n-), from the verb permutare ‘change completely’ (see permute).