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August 28, 2022

Idempotent / adjective / i·dem·po·tent

Idempotent is a mathematical term we use as an adjective and a noun in English. As an adjective, we use it to describe a mathematical quantity that equals the sum of itself when used in a binary operation.

We often see examples of idempotent operations in relation to computer software programs and operations. For example, the operations GET, PUT, and DELETE show up as idempotent operations in computer programs.

Idempotent can also show up as error messages in internet-based software and programs when operations cannot complete.

In a Sentence

1. Software programmers use idempotent operations to power the latest internet-based programs like JavaScript.

2. An idempotent calculation is always equal to the value of itself in binary mathematics operations.

3. They learned about idempotent values in their computer science course at the university.


We started using idempotent as an adjective and a noun in 1870. The word derives from the Latin word idem with the English word potent, which means "to have more power" when combined.

The definition of idempotent hasn't changed since we started using it in the late 1800s. It has always depicted mathematics and computer science-based operations that are equal to themselves.


Unchanged, Mathematics


Impossible, Null


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