## factorial

The mathematical function that takes a natural number, N, and returns the product of N and all smaller positive integers. This is written

N! = N * (N-1) * (N-2) * ... * 1.The factorial of zero is one because it is an empty product. Factorial can be defined recursively as

0! = 1 N! = N * (N-1)! , N > 0The gamma function is the equivalent for real numbers. For example, the number of ways of shuffling 52 playing cards is 52! or nearly 10^68.

*52 Factorial*.

Last updated: 2012-11-23

### Nearby terms:

facsimile ♦ FACT ♦ fact ♦ factor ♦ **factorial** ♦ FAD ♦ failback ♦ failover ♦ failure

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