4.4. Glossary


A general process for solving a category of problems.


A value provided to a function when the function is called. This value is assigned to the corresponding parameter in the function.


The sequence of statements inside a function definition.


Using an expression as part of a larger expression, or a statement as part of a larger statement.


Pertaining to a program that does the same thing each time it runs, given the same inputs.

dot notation

The syntax for calling a function in another module by specifying the module name followed by a dot (period) and the function name.

flow of execution

The order in which statements are executed during a program run.

fruitful function

A function that returns a value.


A named sequence of statements that performs some useful operation. Functions may or may not take arguments and may or may not produce a result.

function call

A statement that executes a function. It consists of the function name followed by an argument list.

function definition

A statement that creates a new function, specifying its name, parameters, and the statements it executes.

function object

A value created by a function definition. The name of the function is a variable that refers to a function object.


The first line of a function definition.

import statement

A statement that reads a module file and creates a module object.

module object

A value created by an import statement that provides access to the data and code defined in a module.


A name used inside a function to refer to the value passed as an argument.


Pertaining to a sequence of numbers that appear to be random, but are generated by a deterministic program.

return value

The result of a function. If a function call is used as an expression, the return value is the value of the expression.

void function

A function that does not return a value.