Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

function

2 verb
     
function2 [intransitive]
1 to work in the correct or intended way
function normally/correctly/properly etc
Flights in and out of Taipei are functioning normally again.
Her legs have now ceased to function.
You know I can't function (=cannot perform normal activities) without a coffee in the morning.
2 if something functions in a particular way, it works in that way:
an understanding of how the economy functions

function as something

phrasal verb
if something functions as a particular thing, it does what that type of thing normally does, or is used as that thing:
A library is functioning as a temporary hospital to cope with casualties.

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