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Engineering LibreTexts

4.1: Function Calls

In the context of programming, a function is a named sequence of statements that performs a computation. When you define a function, you specify the name and the sequence of statements. Later, you can "call" the function by name. We have already seen one example of a function call:

>>> type(32)
<class 'int'>

The name of the function is type. The expression in parentheses is called the argument of the function. The argument is a value or variable that we are passing into the function as input to the function. The result, for the type function, is the type of the argument.


It is common to say that a function "takes" an argument and "returns" a result. The result is called the return value.