# Predicate (mathematical logic)

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In logic, a predicate is a symbol which represents a property or a relation. For instance, in the first order formula ${\displaystyle P(a)}$, the symbol ${\displaystyle P}$ is a predicate which applies to the individual constant ${\displaystyle a}$. Similarly, in the formula ${\displaystyle R(a,b)}$, ${\displaystyle R}$ is a predicate which applies to the individual constants ${\displaystyle a}$ and ${\displaystyle b}$.

In the semantics of logic, predicates are interpreted as relations. For instance, in a standard semantics for first-order logic, the formula ${\displaystyle R(a,b)}$ would be true on an interpretation if the entities denoted by ${\displaystyle a}$ and ${\displaystyle b}$ stand in the relation denoted by ${\displaystyle R}$. Since predicates are non-logical symbols, they can denote different relations depending on the interpretation used to interpret them. While first-order logic only includes predicates which apply to individual constants, other logics may allow predicates which apply to other predicates.