word origins + definitions




pro·ce·dure (pr-sjr) [n]

[French procédure, from Old French from proceder, to proceed.]

1: a particular course of action intended to achieve a results; "the procedure of obtaining a driver's license"; "it was a process of trial and error" [syn: process]

2: a process or series of acts especially of a practical or mechanical nature involved in a particular form of work: "the operations in building a house"; "certain machine tool operations" [syn: operation]

3: a set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program [syn: routine, subroutine, subprogram, function]

4.A series of steps taken to accomplish an end: a long therapeutic procedure.

5.A set of established forms or methods for conducting the affairs of a business, legislative body, or court of law.

6. The act or manner of proceeding or moving forward; progress;process; operation; conduct. ``The true procedure of conscience.'' --South.

7. A step taken; an act performed; a proceeding; the steps taken in an action or other legal proceeding. ``Gracious procedures.'' --I. Taylor.

8. That which results; issue; product. [Obs.] --Bacon.

Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.




sub·rou·tine (sbr-tn) [n]

n. Computer Science

A set of instructions that performs a specific task for a main routine, requiring direction back to the proper place in the main routine on completion of the task.

subroutine n : a set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program [syn: routine, subprogram, procedure, function]

(Or "procedure") A sequence of instructions for performing a particular task. Most programming languages, including most machine languages, allow the programmer to define subroutines. This allows the subroutine code to be called from multiple places, even from within itself (in which case it is called recursive). The programming language implementation takes care of returning control to (just after) the calling location, usually with the support of call and return instructions at machine language level.

Most languages also allow arguments to be passed to the subroutine, and one, or occasionally more, return values to be passed back.

A function is often very similar to a subroutine, the main difference being that it is called chiefly for its return value, rather than for any side effects.

Source: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © 1993-1999 Denis Howe