views updated May 23 2018

com·bi·na·tion / ˌkämbəˈnāshən/ • n. 1. the act or an instance of combining; the process of being combined. ∎  [as adj.] uniting different uses, functions, or ingredients: a combination garment bag and backpack. ∎  the state of being joined or united in such a way: these four factors work together in combination. ∎ Chem. the joining of substances in a compound with new properties. ∎ Chem. the state of being in a compound.2. a set of people or things that have been combined: a combination of beauty and utility. ∎  an arrangement of elements: the canvases may be arranged in any number of combinations. ∎  a sequence of numbers or letters used to open a combination lock. ∎  (in various sports and games) a coordinated and effective sequence of moves. ∎  (in equestrian sports) a jump consisting of two or more elements.3. Math. a selection of a given number of elements from a larger number without regard to their arrangement.DERIVATIVES: com·bi·na·tion·al / -shənl/·bi·na·tive / ˈkämbəˌnātiv; kəmˈbīnətiv/·bi·na·to·ri·al / ˌkämbənəˈtôrēəl; kəmˌbīnə-/ adj. ( Math. )com·bi·na·to·ri·al·ly adv. ( Math. )com·bi·na·to·ry / kəmˈbīnəˌtôre; ˈkämbənə-/ adj.


views updated Jun 27 2018

1. A subset of a finite set of elements. The number of combinations of n distinct objects taken k at a time is nCk = n!/[k!(nk)!]

2. A method of combining functions in a parallel manner (compare composition). For functions f and g, f : ST and g : UV

the combination f × g is such that f × g : S × UT × V

where S × U and T × V are Cartesian products, and (f × g)(s,u) = (f(s),g(u))

(see ordered pair).


views updated May 29 2018


Incriminal law, an agreement between two or more people to act jointly for an unlawful purpose; a conspiracy. In patent law, the joining together of several separate inventions to produce a new invention.

An illegal combination in restraint of trade, defined under the sherman anti-trust act, is one in which the conspirators agree expressly or impliedly to use devices such as price-fixing agreements to eliminate competition in a certain locality, e.g., when a group of furniture manufacturers refuse to deliver goods to stores that sell their goods for under a certain price.

In patent law a combination is distinguishable from an aggregation in that it is a joint operation of elements that produces a new result as opposed to a mere grouping together of old elements. This is important in determining whether or not something is patentable, since no valid patent can extend to an aggregation.


views updated May 21 2018


a union of people to achieve an aim; a collection of connected ideas, letters, or incidents. See also alliance, coalition.