# Argument of a function

In mathematics, an **argument** (also known as **input**^{[citation needed]}) of a function is a value that must be provided to obtain the function's result. It is also called an independent variable.^{[1]}

Sometimes, subscripts can be used to denote arguments. For example, we can use subscripts to denote the arguments with respect to which partial derivatives are taken.^{[2]}

The use of the term "argument" in this sense developed from astronomy, which historically used tables to determine the spatial positions of planets from their positions in the sky. These tables were organized according to measured angles called arguments, literally "that which elucidates something else."^{[3]}^{[4]}