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I cannot stay here. I have a function tonight.

What does function mean here? Is it oftentimes related to church activities?

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closed as general reference by James McLeod, tchrist, Kris, Matt Эллен, MετάEd Jun 18 '13 at 12:22

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Might the usage of function vary by region? In the UK, I would not have said that is is "oftentimes related to church activities", although I could believe that that maybe the case in parts of the USA, where (if I understand correctly), church activities can take a larger part in public and community life than is now the case in the UK. The definition quoted by @AndrewLeach is what I would understand it to mean; and the example of party functions in that definition makes me think of political parties - certainly not churches. –  TrevorD Jun 18 '13 at 11:22
    
See this definition –  Matt Эллен Jun 18 '13 at 12:07

1 Answer 1

From ODO

4 a large or formal social event or ceremony: he was obliged to attend party functions

None of the other definitions will fit that sentence.

It could be related to church activities; but it could just as easily relate to work, or something like a dinner-dance.

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It's a rather formal word - hence perhaps the connotation of formality with regard to the actual event. The overlapping do is far more colloquial. And arguably provides an exception to the rule 'never use apostrophes to make pure plurals'. –  Edwin Ashworth Jun 18 '13 at 11:03

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