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Definition of "idempotent" [idempotent]

  • (computing) Describing an action which, when performed multiple times, has no further effect on its subject after the first time it is performed. (adjective)
  • Said of an element of an algebraic structure (such as a group or semigroup) with a binary operation: that when the element operates on itself, the result is equal to itself. (adjective)
  • Said of a binary operation: that all of the distinct elements it can operate on are idempotent (in the sense given just above). (adjective)
  • An idempotent ring or other structure (noun)

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Use "idempotent" in a sentence
  • "On your last few paragraphs, I'm not sure I get your comment about it being "idempotent" with creationist second law arguments - though I can't say I'm terribly familiar with those."
  • "My first instinct would be to stop using the pretentious word "idempotent""
  • "My first instinct would be to stop using the pretentious word "idempotent", which is a symptom of the Haskellers 'disease of assuming that math terminology is a good way to concisely communicate concepts to non-mathematicians ..."