# Limit of a function

In mathematics, the **limit of a function** is a fundamental concept in calculus and analysis concerning the behavior of that function near a particular input.

1 | 0.841471... |

0.1 | 0.998334... |

0.01 | 0.999983... |

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Formal definitions, first devised in the early 19th century, are given below. Informally, a function *f* assigns an output *f*(*x*) to every input *x*. We say that the function has a limit *L* at an input *p,* if *f*(*x*) gets closer and closer to *L* as *x* moves closer and closer to *p*. More specifically, when *f* is applied to any input *sufficiently* close to *p*, the output value is forced *arbitrarily* close to *L*. On the other hand, if some inputs very close to *p* are taken to outputs that stay a fixed distance apart, then we say the limit *does not exist*.

The notion of a limit has many applications in modern calculus. In particular, the many definitions of continuity employ the concept of limit: roughly, a function is continuous if all of its limits agree with the values of the function. The concept of limit also appears in the definition of the derivative: in the calculus of one variable, this is the limiting value of the slope of secant lines to the graph of a function.