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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The story's fascinating convolutions were inspired by real events.
▪ It would be inappropriate here to set out all the convolutions in public policy on relief for the unemployed.
▪ They do not seem to be adequate to all the convolutions of gendered subjectivities, however.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Convolution \Con`vo*lu"tion\, n.

  1. The act of rolling anything upon itself, or one thing upon another; a winding motion.

    O'er the calm sea, in convolution swift, The feathered eddy floats.

  2. The state of being rolled upon itself, or rolled or doubled together; a tortuous or sinuous winding or fold, as of something rolled or folded upon itself.

  3. (Anat.) An irregular, tortuous folding of an organ or part; as, the convolutions of the intestines; the cerebral convolutions. See Brain.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1540s, from Latin convolutus, past participle of convolvere "to roll together," from com- "together" (see com-) + volvere "to roll" (see volvox).


n. 1 Something that is folded or twisted. 2 Any of the folds on the surface of the brain. 3 The shape of something rotating; a vortex. 4 (context mathematics English) A form of moving average. 5 (context computing English) A function which maps a tuple of sequences into a sequence of tuples.

  1. n. the shape of something rotating rapidly [syn: whirl, swirl, vortex]

  2. a convex fold or elevation in the surface of the brain [syn: gyrus]

  3. the action of coiling or twisting or winding together


In mathematics (and, in particular, functional analysis) convolution is a mathematical operation on two functions (f and g); it produces a third function, that is typically viewed as a modified version of one of the original functions, giving the integral of the pointwise multiplication of the two functions as a function of the amount that one of the original functions is translated. Convolution is similar to cross-correlation. It has applications that include probability, statistics, computer vision, natural language processing, image and signal processing, engineering, and differential equations.

The convolution can be defined for functions on groups other than Euclidean space. For example, periodic functions, such as the discrete-time Fourier transform, can be defined on a circle and convolved by periodic convolution. (See row 10 at DTFT#Properties.) A discrete convolution can be defined for functions on the set of integers. Generalizations of convolution have applications in the field of numerical analysis and numerical linear algebra, and in the design and implementation of finite impulse response filters in signal processing.

Computing the inverse of the convolution operation is known as deconvolution.

Convolution (computer science)

In computer science, specifically formal languages, convolution (sometimes referred to as zip) is a function which maps a tuple of sequences into a sequence of tuples.

Usage examples of "convolution".

Hot glass, as if from some army of glassworkers, seemed to have fallen on the sand all about, cooling, including grains and holes and bubbles in its convolutions.

That he said nothing of antiquarian rambles in the glamorous old city with its luring skyline of ancient domes and steeples and its tangles of roads and alleys whose mystic convolutions and sudden vistas alternately beckon and surprise, was taken by his parents as a good index of the degree to which his new interests had engrossed his mind.

The twists and convolutions, the half-random whorls and skeins of intricate flesh that had made up that rapacious totality had been functions of some unthinkable, inhuman symmetry, cells multiplying like obscure and imaginary numbers.

When one warred with the intangible, convolutions were certain to abound.

A wheel whose scattered concentrations of mass pile up waves of time, waves which swirl back in myriad convolutions under the forces maintaining temporal parity, the cotemporal equilibrium which is fundamental to the Universe as we know it.

Eye of God, and let her consciousness be drawn toward the center of its mazelike convolutions, deepening her trance.

He could not grasp how the artifact had responded to the nuclear attack from above, but now all the translucent biopolymer convolutions awakened in a burst of radiance.

Perhaps that is because the reconciliation and coordination of chronologies, like the diction and convolutions of the law, are regarded as scribal prerogatives.

The clouds were kneading themselves into darker convolutions, getting set to clean out their systems.

But it took a mature mind to appreciate the convolutions of that complexity.

Its legs were formed of loops, its body of closely interlocked convolutions, and its tail was like knitwork.

The music wafted out, permeating the corridors and windows and convolutions of the castle, striking harmonics in the walls.

When the ice came and went, causing the great ocean to rise, when the island itself sank slowly and then rebuilt with new lava— when these titanic convolutions were in progress, the south shore of 10 HAWAII FROM THE BOUNDLESS DEEP 11 the island was alternately exposed to sunlight or buried fathoms deep in ocean.

Blake turned his back on the boy and said to the elders, "The 622 HAWAII compassionate Buddha knows that at lolani I have given you Chinese the salt of my blood and the convolutions of my brain, and I have raised you from ignorance into light, and the compassionate Buddha also knows that I wish I had done half as well with my light as you wonderful people have done with yours.

Now Gloha was able to admire the glowing colors of the walls and ceiling, and the convolutions of stone under the clear surface of the water.