[Haskell-cafe] definition of the term "combinator"

Jason Dagit dagitj at gmail.com
Sat Aug 24 07:27:41 CEST 2013

On Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 9:09 PM, damodar kulkarni <kdamodar2000 at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello,
> The word "combinator" is used several times in the Haskell community. e.g.
> parser combinator, combinator library etc.
> Is it exactly the same term that is used in the "combinatory logic" ?
> A combinator is a higher-order function that uses *only function
> application* and earlier defined combinators to define a result from its
> arguments. [1]
> It seems, the term combinator as in, say, "parser combinator", doesn't
> have much to do with the "*only function application*" requirement of the
> "combinatory logic", per se.
> If the above observation holds, is the term combinator as used in the
> Haskell community, properly defined?
> In other words:
> Where can I find a formal and precise definition of the term "combinator",
> as a term used by the Haskell community to describe "something"?

Good question. I believe this article addresses the points you raise:
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