Difference Wiki

Duty vs. Function

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on September 17, 2023
"Duty" refers to a moral or legal obligation, while "function" describes a particular purpose or role that something performs. Duty is often a personal or societal expectation; function is more about operational purpose.

Key Differences

"Duty" is a term that generally signifies an obligation, responsibility, or task that one is expected to perform. This expectation can be either moral, ethical, or even legal. For instance, a citizen's duty might include obeying laws or voting. "Function," on the other hand, refers to the specific role, purpose, or operation that something is designed to perform. For example, the function of a hammer is to drive nails.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023
"Duty" usually involves a level of accountability or a sense of obligation, often moral or ethical. Conversely, "function" is devoid of this moral or ethical dimension and is purely about capability or purpose. For example, a software application may function as a word processor but has no duty to the user.
Harlon Moss
Sep 17, 2023
From a grammatical standpoint, both "duty" and "function" function mainly as nouns, but they can also be used as verbs, albeit less commonly. For example, one might say, "He dutied as a guard," or "The machine functions well." However, these usages are not as prevalent as their noun forms.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023
In terms of context, "duty" is often used to describe roles in social, familial, or professional settings. For example, it's a parent's duty to take care of their children. "Function" is more frequently found in technical or operational contexts. For example, the function of a machine is to make work easier.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Mainly a noun, sometimes a verb
Mainly a noun, sometimes a verb
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Context

Social, Legal, Moral
Technical, Operational
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023
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Implication

Obligation or Responsibility
Purpose or Role
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Moral/Ethical Dimension

Often Present
Usually Absent
Aimie Carlson
Sep 17, 2023

Verb Usage

Less common
Less common
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Duty and Function Definitions

Duty

A moral or ethical obligation.
It's your duty to tell the truth.
Janet White
Sep 17, 2023

Function

The natural action or intended purpose of something.
The function of the heart is to pump blood.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Duty

A specific task assigned.
It's your duty to wash the dishes.
Harlon Moss
Sep 17, 2023
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Function

A mathematical relationship between variables.
The function f(x) = x^2 is a quadratic function.
Janet White
Sep 17, 2023

Duty

A work shift.
She has night duty at the hospital.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 17, 2023

Function

A role or occupation.
His function in the company is unclear.
Harlon Moss
Sep 17, 2023

Duty

A legal responsibility.
Jury duty is a civic responsibility.
Samantha Walker
Sep 17, 2023

Function

A person's role or occupation
In my function as chief editor.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

A tax imposed on imports or exports.
The country imposed a duty on luxury goods.
Samantha Walker
Sep 17, 2023
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Function

(Biology) The physiological activity of an organ or body part
The heart's function is to pump blood.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

An act or a course of action that is required of one by position, social custom, law, or religion
The duties of being a critical care nurse.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(Computers) A procedure within an application.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Required action or service
Jury duty.
Beyond the call of duty.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

An official ceremony or a formal social occasion
Disliked attending receptions and other company functions.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Active military service
A tour of duty.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

Something closely related to another thing and dependent on it for its existence, value, or significance
Growth is a function of nutrition.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Moral or legal obligation
It is your duty to tell the truth.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A variable so related to another that for each value assumed by one there is a value determined for the other.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

The compulsion felt to meet such obligation
Acting out of duty.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A rule of correspondence between two sets such that there is exactly one element in the second set assigned to each element in the first set. Also called mapping.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

A tax charged by a government, especially on imports.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

To have or perform a function; serve
Functioned as ambassador.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

The application of something for a purpose; use
The dining room table also does duty as a desk.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

To deal with or overcome the challenges of everyday life
For weeks after his friend's funeral he simply could not function.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

A measure of efficiency expressed as the amount of work done per unit of energy used.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

What something does or is used for.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

The total volume of water required to irrigate a given area in order to cultivate a specific crop until harvest.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A professional or official position.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

That which one is morally or legally obligated to do.
We don't have a duty to keep you here.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

An official or social occasion.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

The state of being at work and responsible for or doing a particular task.
Iā€™m on duty from 6 pm to 6 am.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

Something which is dependent on or stems from another thing; a result or concomitant.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

A tax placed on imports or exports; a tariff.
Customs duty; excise duty
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A relation where one thing is dependent on another for its existence, value, or significance.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

(obsolete) One's due, something one is owed; a debt or fee.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(mathematics) A relation in which each element of the domain is associated with exactly one element of the codomain. Category:en:Functions
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

(obsolete) Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(computing) A routine that receives zero or more arguments and may return a result.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

The efficiency of an engine, especially a steam pumping engine, as measured by work done by a certain quantity of fuel; usually, the number of pounds of water lifted one foot by one bushel of coal (94 lbs. old standard), or by 1 cwt. (112 lbs., England, or 100 lbs., United States).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(biology) The physiological activity of an organ or body part.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

That which is due; payment.
When thou receivest money for thy labor or ware, thou receivest thy duty.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(chemistry) The characteristic behavior of a chemical compound.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

That which a person is bound by moral obligation to do, or refrain from doing; that which one ought to do; service morally obligatory.
Forgetting his duty toward God, his sovereign lord, and his country.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(anthropology) The role of a social practice in the continued existence of the group.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Hence, any assigned service or business; as, the duties of a policeman, or a soldier; to be on duty.
With records sweet of duties done.
To employ him on the hardest and most imperative duty.
Duty is a graver term than obligation. A duty hardly exists to do trivial things; but there may be an obligation to do them.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(intransitive) To have a function.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Specifically, obedience or submission due to parents and superiors.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

(intransitive) To carry out a function; to be in action.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Respect; reverence; regard; act of respect; homage.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

The act of executing or performing any duty, office, or calling; performance.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

The efficiency of an engine, especially a steam pumping engine, as measured by work done by a certain quantity of fuel; usually, the number of pounds of water lifted one foot by one bushel of coal (94 lbs. old standard), or by 1 cwt. (112 lbs., England, or 100 lbs., United States).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

The appropriate action of any special organ or part of an animal or vegetable organism; as, the function of the heart or the limbs; the function of leaves, sap, roots, etc.; life is the sum of the functions of the various organs and parts of the body.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Tax, toll, impost, or customs; excise; any sum of money required by government to be paid on the importation, exportation, or consumption of goods.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

The natural or assigned action of any power or faculty, as of the soul, or of the intellect; the exertion of an energy of some determinate kind.
As the mind opens, and its functions spread.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

Work that you are obliged to perform for moral or legal reasons;
The duties of the job
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

The course of action which peculiarly pertains to any public officer in church or state; the activity appropriate to any business or profession.
Tradesmen . . . going about their functions.
The malady which made him incapable of performing hisregal functions.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

The social force that binds you to your obligations and the courses of action demanded by that force;
We must instill a sense of duty in our children
Every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A quantity so connected with another quantity, that if any alteration be made in the latter there will be a consequent alteration in the former. Each quantity is said to be a function of the other. Thus, the circumference of a circle is a function of the diameter. If x be a symbol to which different numerical values can be assigned, such expressions as x2, 3x, Log. x, and Sin. x, are all functions of x.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Duty

A government tax on imports or exports;
They signed a treaty to lower duties on trade between their countries
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A religious ceremony, esp. one particularly impressive and elaborate.
Every solemn function' performed with the requirements of the liturgy.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A public or social ceremony or gathering; a festivity or entertainment, esp. one somewhat formal.
This function, which is our chief social event.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

To execute or perform a function; to transact one's regular or appointed business.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A mathematical relation such that each element of one set is associated with at least one element of another set
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

What something is used for;
The function of an auger is to bore holes
Ballet is beautiful but what use is it?
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

The actions and activities assigned to or required or expected of a person or group;
The function of a teacher
The government must do its part
Play its role
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A relation such that one thing is dependent on another;
Height is a function of age
Price is a function of supply and demand
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A formal or official social gathering or ceremony;
It was a black-tie function
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A vaguely specified social event;
The party was quite an affair
An occasion arranged to honor the president
A seemingly endless round of social functions
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A set sequence of steps, part of larger computer program
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

Perform as expected when applied;
The washing machine won't go unless it's plugged in
Does this old car still run well?
This old radio doesn't work anymore
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

Serve a purpose, role, or function;
The tree stump serves as a table
The female students served as a control group
This table would serve very well
His freedom served him well
The table functions as a desk
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

Perform duties attached to a particular office or place or function;
His wife officiated as his private secretary
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 17, 2022

Function

A social event or gathering.
They attended a charity function.
Samantha Walker
Sep 17, 2023

Function

To operate or work as intended.
The machine functions perfectly.
Harlon Moss
Sep 17, 2023

FAQs

Can function be a verb?

Yes, like "The machine functions well."
Aimie Carlson
Sep 17, 2023

Is duty always moral or legal?

Often, but it can also refer to specific tasks or roles.
Harlon Moss
Sep 17, 2023

What is the primary meaning of duty?

Duty primarily means an obligation or responsibility.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Is function objective?

Generally, yes. It describes an observable role or operation.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 17, 2023

Can duty be a verb?

Yes, though it's less common than its noun form.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

What's the plural form of duty?

The plural form is "duties."
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

What does function generally signify?

Function refers to the role, operation, or purpose something is designed for.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Does function always refer to machinery?

No, it can refer to roles, mathematical relationships, or social events.
Aimie Carlson
Sep 17, 2023

Is duty subjective?

It can be, depending on cultural or personal views of obligation.
Samantha Walker
Sep 17, 2023

Is duty related to accountability?

Yes, duty often involves a level of accountability.
Janet White
Sep 17, 2023

Is function related to capability?

Yes, function often refers to what something is capable of doing.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Can duty be delegated?

Sometimes, but moral or legal duties are usually personal.
Sawaira Riaz
Sep 17, 2023

Can one have multiple duties and functions?

Absolutely, depending on one's roles in life and work.
Samantha Walker
Sep 17, 2023

What's the plural form of function?

The plural form is "functions."
Samantha Walker
Sep 17, 2023

Can function be outsourced?

Often, yes. For example, a company might outsource IT functions.
Samantha Walker
Sep 17, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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