nullipotent

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Latin roots, nullus ‎(not any) +‎ potent ‎(having power) – literally, “having no power”.

Adjective[edit]

nullipotent ‎(not comparable)

  1. (mathematics, computing) Describing an action which has no side effect. Queries are typically nullipotent: they return useful data, but do not change the data structure queried. Contrast with idempotent.
  2. (biology) Incapable of developing into any cell type; compare pluripotent

Usage notes[edit]

In computing, contrast with idempotent: both refer to the potential result of performing an action on an object multiple times, the difference being that an idempotent action's result would be the same as performing it one time, while the nullipotent action's result would be the same as performing it zero times.

In other words, a nullipotent action has no effects – performing it multiple times is the same as performing it zero times. An idempotent action has no further effects after the first time performing it – performing it multiple times is the same as performing it one time.

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