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Definition of index
noun (plural indexes or especially in technical use indices /-dəˌsēz/)
1an alphabetical list of names, subjects, etc., with references to the places where they occur, typically found at the end of a book. an alphabetical list by title, subject, author, or other category of a collection of books or documents, e.g., in a library. Computing a set of items each of which specifies one of the records of a file and contains information about its address. 2an indicator, sign, or measure of something:exam results may serve as an index of the teacher’s effectiveness a figure in a system or scale representing the average value of specified prices, shares, or other items as compared with some reference figure:the hundred-shares index closed down 9.3 a pointer on an instrument, showing a quantity, a position on a scale, etc.. [with modifier] a number giving the magnitude of a physical property or another measured phenomenon in terms of a standard:the oral hygiene index was calculated as the sum of the debris and calculus indices 3 Mathematics an exponent or other superscript or subscript number appended to a quantity. 4 Printing a symbol shaped like a pointing hand, typically used to draw attention to a note.
verb [with object]
1record (names, subjects, etc.) in an index:the list indexes theses under regional headings 2link the value of (prices, wages, or other payments) automatically to the value of a price index:legislation indexing wages to prices 3 [no object]
(often as noun indexing
) (of a machine or part of one) rotate or otherwise move from one predetermined position to another in order to carry out a sequence of operations.
The plural of index
is usually spelled indexes
, but can also be spelled indices
(as in the original Latin) in subjects like science and medicine.