# Parameter vs Criterion - What's the difference?

parameter | criterion |

## As nouns the difference between parameter and criterion

is that parameter is (mathematics|physics) a variable kept constant during an experiment, calculation or similar while criterion is a standard or test by which individual things or people may be compared and judged.

# parameter

## English

* parametre

### Noun

(en noun)
• (mathematics, physics) A variable kept constant during an experiment, calculation or similar.
• (programming) An input variable of a procedure definition, that gets an actual value (argument) at execution time (formal parameter) .
• Roughly, a tuple of arguments could be thought of as a vector, whereas a tuple of parameters''' could be thought of as a covector (i.e., linear functional). When a function is called, a '''parameter tuple becomes "bound" to an argument tuple, allowing the function instance itself to be computed to yield a return value. This would be roughly analogous to applying a covector to a vector (by taking their dot product (or, rather, matrix-product of row vector and column vector)) to obtain a scalar.
• (programming) An actual value given to such a formal parameter (argument or actual parameter) .
• A characteristic or feature that distinguishes something from others.
• (geometry) In the ellipse and hyperbola, a third proportional to any diameter and its conjugate, or in the parabola, to any abscissa and the corresponding ordinate.
• The parameter of the principal axis of a conic section is called the latus rectum.
• (crystallography) The ratio of the three crystallographic axes which determines the position of any plane.
• (crystallography) The fundamental axial ratio for a given species.
• #### Usage notes

* (the value used to instantiate the name) Some authors regard use of parameter'' to mean ''argument'' as imprecise, preferring that ''parameter'' refers only to the name that will be instantiated, and ''argument to refer to the value that will be supplied to it at runtime.

#### Synonyms

* (value passed to a function) argument * (characteristic distinguishing something from others) distinguishing feature * See also

#### Derived terms

* actual parameter * formal parameter

* variable

# criterion

## English

### Alternative forms

* (nonstandard) * criterium

### Noun

(criteria)
• A standard or test by which individual things or people may be compared and judged.
• *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-11-30, volume=409, issue=8864, magazine=(The Economist), author=Paul Davis
• , title= Letters: Say it as simply as possible , passage=Congratulations on managing to use the phrase “preponderant criterion ” in a chart (“ On your marks”, November 9th). Was this the work of a kakorrhaphiophobic journalist set a challenge by his colleagues, or simply an example of glossolalia?}}

#### Usage notes

* The plural form criterions also exists, but is much less common. * The form criteria is sometimes used as a nonstandard singular form (as in a criteria'', ''this criteria , and so on), with corresponding plural form criterias. In this use, it sometimes means “a single criterion”, sometimes “a set of criteria”.

### Anagrams

* English nouns with irregular plurals ----