What is algorithm? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Mathematics glossary:

An algorithm (pronounced AL-go-rith-um) is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. The word derives from the name of the mathematician, Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi, who was part of the royal court in Baghdad and who lived from about 780 to 850. Al-Khwarizmi's work is the likely source for the word algebra as well.

A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm. In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually means a small procedure that solves a recurrent problem.

This was last updated in July 2014
Contributor(s): Fouad Tawfiq and Ali
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • lemniscate

    - A lemniscate is a plane curve with a characteristic shape, consisting of two loops that meet at a central point as shown below. (WhatIs.com)

  • integer

    - An integer (pronounced IN-tuh-jer) is a whole number (not a fractional number) that can be positive, negative, or zero. (WhatIs.com)

  • de-anonymization (deanonymization)

    - De-anonymization is a method used to detect the original data that was subjected to processes to make it impossible -- or at least harder -- to identify the personally identifiable information (PII... (WhatIs.com)


  • Mathematics

    - Terms related to mathematics, including definitions about logic, algorithms and computations and mathematical terms used in computer science and business.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.