Out Of One's Element Meaning

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Out of (one's) element. Uncomfortable in a certain situation because it is not the one with which one has experience, familiarity, or expertise (i.e. One's 'element'). She usually just orders takeout, so she's really out of her element in the kitchen. Feeling different, on occasions when you really need to use your mind and fail miserably is when your out of your element. Also it defines you not being in your original state. Element Of Surprise. Meaning: Doing something secretly to catch someone off guard or to surprise them. Use In A Sentence: We need the element of surprise to plan the party without her finding out. (One’s) Jaw Drop. Meaning: Someone opens their mouth because they are greatly surprised or heard something unexpected. Definition of out of (one's) element out of (one's) element confused, or under the influence of marijuana. Buddy's so lit he's outta his element! Element definition: 1. A part of something: 2. A small amount of an emotion or quality: 3. A simple substance that.

A phrase used to describe someone who is out of place or does not belong in a specific situation, setting or group. Not cool. Not able to understand a subject or group because you are unfamiliar with it's nuances. This phrase was made popular by the film 'The Big Lebowski'.
When a white dude says nigga, he is out of his element.
When the gayest dude you know starts talking about macking onhoneys, he is out of his element.
When your little brother tries to borrow your ride so he can act like it's his, he is out of his element.
You're out of your element, Donny!
Paper product used as a barrier against unwanted messes, such as the liner at the bottom of a bird cage.
Pleaseput a New York Times under that before it gets all over the place.
Get the New York Times neck gaiter and mug.
A phrase used to describe a person who is out of his or her mind, in other words crazy
'I can'tbelieveyou just did that, you are out of your element'
Get a out of your element mug for your mate Larisa.
Contrary to popular belief, the idiom 'out of one's element' expresses one's or another person's discomfort when feeling out of place and NOT the other way around. Ironically, someone who says 'out of their element' in the latter sense is, according to him, out of HIS element (he is intending to call someone out when in reality he is exposing the fact he doesn't know how to use that phrase properly).
'Your out of your element, dog!'
'No, I'm out of line.'
Get the Out of your element neck gaiter and mug.

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A function relates an input to an output.

It is like a machine that has an input and an output.

And the output is related somehow to the input.


'f(x) = .. ' is the classic way of writing a function.
And there are other ways, as you will see!

Input, Relationship, Output

We will see many ways to think about functions, but there are always three main parts:

  • The input
  • The relationship
  • The output

Example: 'Multiply by 2' is a very simple function.

Here are the three parts:

0× 20
1× 22
7× 214
10× 220

For an input of 50, what is the output?

Some Examples of Functions

  • x2 (squaring) is a function
  • x3+1 is also a function
  • Sine, Cosine and Tangent are functions used in trigonometry
  • and there are lots more!

But we are not going to look at specific functions ..
.. instead we will look at the general idea of a function.

Out Of One's Element Meaning Chart


First, it is useful to give a function a name.

The most common name is 'f', but we can have other names like 'g' .. or even 'marmalade' if we want.

But let's use 'f':

We say 'f of x equals x squared'

what goes into the function is put inside parentheses () after the name of the function:

So f(x) shows us the function is called 'f', and 'x' goes in

And we usually see what a function does with the input:

f(x) = x2 shows us that function 'f' takes 'x' and squares it.

Example: with f(x) = x2:

  • an input of 4
  • becomes an output of 16.

In fact we can write f(4) = 16.

The 'x' is Just a Place-Holder!

Don't get too concerned about 'x', it is just there to show us where the input goes and what happens to it.

It could be anything!

So this function:

f(x) = 1 - x + x2

Is the same function as:

  • f(q) = 1 - q + q2
  • h(A) = 1 - A + A2
  • w(θ) = 1 - θ + θ2

The variable (x, q, A, etc) is just there so we know where to put the values:

f(2) = 1 - 2 + 22 = 3

Sometimes There is No Function Name

Out Of One's Element Meaning Synonyms


Sometimes a function has no name, and we see something like:

y = x2

But there is still:

  • an input (x)
  • a relationship (squaring)
  • and an output (y)


At the top we said that a function was like a machine. But a function doesn't really have belts or cogs or any moving parts - and it doesn't actually destroy what we put into it!

A function relates an input to an output.

Saying 'f(4) = 16' is like saying 4 is somehow related to 16. Or 4 → 16

Example: this tree grows 20 cm every year, so the height of the tree is related to its age using the function h:

h(age) = age × 20

So, if the age is 10 years, the height is:

h(10) = 10 × 20 = 200 cm

Here are some example values:

What Types of Things Do Functions Process?

'Numbers' seems an obvious answer, but ..

.. which numbers?

For example, the tree-height function h(age) = age×20 makes no sense for an age less than zero.

.. it could also be letters ('A'→'B'), or ID codes ('A6309'→'Pass') or stranger things.

So we need something more powerful, and that is where sets come in:

A set is a collection of things.

Here are some examples:

  • Set of even numbers: {.., -4, -2, 0, 2, 4, ..}
  • Set of clothes: {'hat','shirt',..}
  • Set of prime numbers: {2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, ..}
  • Positive multiples of 3 that are less than 10: {3, 6, 9}

Each individual thing in the set (such as '4' or 'hat') is called a member, or element.

So, a function takes elements of a set, and gives back elements of a set.

A Function is Special

But a function has special rules:

All english words. What's the most popular descriptor in the English language? Adjectives modify nouns and pronouns. It's how we know the woman was gorgeous or the sunset was glittering. (However, it's worth noting that while all adjectives are descriptive words, not all descriptive words are adjectives.) The best way to expand our adjectival knowledge is to pick up a book and read. In the meantime, let's prime. Descriptive Words in English. Enjoyable: Games can make learning more enjoyable. Pleasurable: We do everything we can to make your trip pleasurable. Thoughtful: It was really thoughtful of you to remember my birthday. Courteous: The hotel staff are friendly and courteous. Lovely: That was a lovely.

  • It must work for every possible input value
  • And it has only one relationship for each input value

This can be said in one definition:

Formal Definition of a Function

A function relates each element of a set
with exactly one element of another set
(possibly the same set).

The Two Important Things!


'..each element..' means that every element in X is related to some element in Y.

We say that the function coversX (relates every element of it).

(But some elements of Y might not be related to at all, which is fine.)


'..exactly one..' means that a function is single valued. It will not give back 2 or more results for the same input.

So 'f(2) = 7 or 9' is not right!

'One-to-many' is not allowed, but 'many-to-one' is allowed:

This is NOT OK in a functionBut this is OK in a function

When a relationship does not follow those two rules then it is not a function .. it is still a relationship, just not a function.

Example: The relationship x → x2

Could also be written as a table:

It is a function, because:

  • Every element in X is related to Y
  • No element in X has two or more relationships

So it follows the rules.

(Notice how both 4 and -4 relate to 16, which is allowed.)

Example: This relationship is not a function:

It is a relationship, but it is not a function, for these reasons:

  • Value '3' in X has no relation in Y
  • Value '4' in X has no relation in Y
  • Value '5' is related to more than one value in Y

(But the fact that '6' in Y has no relationship does not matter)

Vertical Line Test

On a graph, the idea of single valued means that no vertical line ever crosses more than one value.

If it crosses more than once it is still a valid curve, but is not a function.

Some types of functions have stricter rules, to find out more you can read Injective, Surjective and Bijective

Infinitely Many

My examples have just a few values, but functions usually work on sets with infinitely many elements.

Example: y = x3

  • The input set 'X' is all Real Numbers
  • The output set 'Y' is also all the Real Numbers

We can't show ALL the values, so here are just a few examples:

X: xY: x3
and so on..and so on..

Domain, Codomain and Range

In our examples above

  • the set 'X' is called the Domain,
  • the set 'Y' is called the Codomain, and
  • the set of elements that get pointed to in Y (the actual values produced by the function) is called the Range.

We have a special page on Domain, Range and Codomain if you want to know more.

So Many Names!

Functions have been used in mathematics for a very long time, and lots of different names and ways of writing functions have come about.

Here are some common terms you should get familiar with:

Example: z = 2u3:

  • 'u' could be called the 'independent variable'
  • 'z' could be called the 'dependent variable' (it depends on the value of u)

Example: f(4) = 16:

  • '4' could be called the 'argument'
  • '16' could be called the 'value of the function'

Example: h(year) = 20 × year:

  • h() is the function
  • 'year' could be called the 'argument', or the 'variable'
  • a fixed value like '20' can be called a parameter

We often call a function 'f(x)' when in fact the function is really 'f'

Ordered Pairs

And here is another way to think about functions:

Write the input and output of a function as an 'ordered pair', such as (4,16).

They are called ordered pairs because the input always comes first, and the output second:

(input, output)

So it looks like this:

( x, f(x) )


(4,16) means that the function takes in '4' and gives out '16'

Set of Ordered Pairs

A function can then be defined as a set of ordered pairs:

Example: {(2,4), (3,5), (7,3)} is a function that says

'2 is related to 4', '3 is related to 5' and '7 is related 3'.

Also, notice that:

  • the domain is {2,3,7} (the input values)
  • and the range is {4,5,3} (the output values)

But the function has to be single valued, so we also say

'if it contains (a, b) and (a, c), then b must equal c'

Which is just a way of saying that an input of 'a' cannot produce two different results.

Learn english meeting. Example: {(2,4), (2,5), (7,3)} is not a function because {2,4} and {2,5} means that 2 could be related to 4 or 5.

In other words it is not a function because it is not single valued

A Benefit of Ordered Pairs

We can graph them..

.. because they are also coordinates!

So a set of coordinates is also a function (if they follow the rules above, that is)

A Function Can be in Pieces

We can create functions that behave differently depending on the input value

Example: A function with two pieces:

  • when x is less than 0, it gives 5,
  • when x is 0 or more it gives x2
Here are some example values:

Read more at Piecewise Functions.

Explicit vs Implicit

One last topic: the terms 'explicit' and 'implicit'.

Explicit is when the function shows us how to go directly from x to y, such as:

That is the classic y = f(x) style that we often work with.

Implicit is when it is not given directly such as:

x2 − 3xy + y3 = 0

In his element meaning

When we know x, how do we find y?

It may be hard (or impossible!) to go directly from x to y.

'Implicit' comes from 'implied', in other words shown indirectly.


  • The Function Grapher can only handle explicit functions,
  • The Equation Grapher can handle both types (but takes a little longer, and sometimes gets it wrong).


  • a function relates inputs to outputs
  • a function takes elements from a set (the domain) and relates them to elements in a set (the codomain).
  • all the outputs (the actual values related to) are together called the range
  • a function is a special type of relation where:
    • every element in the domain is included, and
    • any input produces only one output (not this or that)
  • an input and its matching output are together called an ordered pair
  • so a function can also be seen as a set of ordered pairs