The image $~$\operatorname{im}(f)$~$ of a function $~$f : X \to Y$~$ is the set of all possible outputs of $~$f$~$, which is a subset of $~$Y$~$. Using set builder notation, $~$\operatorname{im}(f) = \{f(x) \mid x \in X\}.$~$

Visualizing a function as a map that takes every point in an input set to one point in an output set, the image is the set of all places where $~$f$~$-arrows land (pictured as the yellow subset of $~$Y$~$ in the image below).

The image of a function is not to be confused with the codomain, which is the *type* of output that the function produces. For example, consider the Ackermann function, which is a very fast-growing (and difficult to compute) function. When someone asks what sort of thing the Ackermann function produces, the natural answer is not "something from a sparse and hard-to-calculate set of numbers that I can't tell you off the top of my head"; the natural answer is "it outputs a number." In this case, the codomain is "number", while the image is the sparse and hard-to-calculate subset of numbers. For more on this distinction, see the page on codomain vs image.

## Comments

Alexei Andreev

Okay now I'm also confused. (Eric Rogstad)

Why don't we just say its codomain is {1}?