• Index


    • IPA: /ˈɪndɛks/


    From Latin index ("a discoverer, informer, spy; of things, an indicator, the forefinger, a title, superscription"), from indicō ("point out, show"); see indicate.

    Full definition of index



    (plural indexes or indices)
    1. An alphabetical listing of items and their location.The index of a book lists words or expressions and the pages of the book upon which they are to be found.
    2. The index finger; the forefinger.
    3. A movable finger on a gauge, scale, etc.
    4. (printing) A symbol resembling a pointing hand, used to direct particular attention to a note or paragraph.
    5. That which points out; that which shows, indicates, manifests, or discloses.
      • ArbuthnotTastes are the indexes of the different qualities of plants.
    6. A sign; an indication; a token.
      • Robert Louis StevensonHis son's empty guffaws ... struck him with pain as the indices of a weak mind.
    7. (linguistics) A type of noun where the meaning of the form changes with respect to the context. E.g., 'Today's newspaper' is an indexical form since its referent will differ depending on the context. See also icon and symbol.
    8. (economics) A single number calculated from an array of prices or of quantities.
    9. (science) A number representing a property or ratio, a coefficient.
    10. (mathematics) A raised suffix indicating a power.
    11. (programming, computing) An integer or other key indicating the location of data e.g. within an array, vector, database table, associative array, or hash table.
    12. (computing, databases) A data structure that improves the performance of operations on a table.
    13. (obsolete) A prologue indicating what follows.

    Related terms


    1. (transitive) To arrange an index for something, especially a long text.
    2. To inventory, to take stock.

    Derived terms


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