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I am looking for a verb that would mean to make a list of elements unique.

For example, let's say I have a list of elements and some of them can exist more then once in the list (duplicates).

What verb can I use for the action of removing such duplicates and make my list composed of unique elements only?

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    Possible answer: english.stackexchange.com/questions/48093/… – user307254 Apr 17 at 9:18
  • What if I don't want to remove duplicates, but for example rename them with a unique name, what would be the right verb to describe this action? – A. Gille Apr 17 at 9:49
  • You could “setify” your list, i.e. assign your list variable to a set variable, and have the language’s built in functions remove the duplicates. – Global Charm Apr 17 at 22:59
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This is deduplication (commonly used when storing large amounts of data on servers):

Eliminate duplicate or redundant information from (something, especially computer data)

Oxford Dictionary

However, I think that “to make multiple elements unique” is something completely different!

  • I changed the title to clarify. I checked the definition, it's what I was looking for – A. Gille Apr 17 at 9:10
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    There is also the informal term "uniquify" which is used in computing for small lists (eg. using the -u option to sort). This doesn't appear in major dictionaries but: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/uniquify – user323578 Apr 17 at 9:12
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In a comment under your question you ask this:

What if I don't want to remove duplicates, but for example rename them with a unique name, what would be the right verb to describe this action?

If this is what you really want to describe, then you're looking for an adverb, not a verb:

I want to uniquely name the list elements.

That has nothing to with removing duplicate items (which is what deduplication means—and is a good answer if that's what you were looking for), but changing the names of duplicate items so that they are no longer duplicates—and keeping those renamed items.

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