Meaning of degree of freedom

degree' of free'dom

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. any of the statistically independent values of a sample that are used to determine a property of the sample, as the mean or variance.
  2. any of the independent variables required to specify the energy of a molecule or atom.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.