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A no operation or “no-op” instruction in an assembly language is an instruction that does not implement any operation. IT pros or others might refer to this as a blank instruction or placeholder.
In some cases, no-op instructions are used for timing purposes. They can also help to deal with certain memory issues, or work in conjunction with a group of other instructions to facilitate some kind of end result. No-op instructions may be used for pipeline synchronization or to delay some type of CPU activity.
In addition, in IT slang, people might talk about someone who is useless or brings nothing to a project as a “no-op.”