What Does Bracket Mean?

Brackets, or braces, are a syntactic construct in many programming languages. They take the forms of “[]”, “()”, “{}” or “<>.” They are typically used to denote programming language constructs such as blocks, function calls or array subscripts.


Brackets are also known as braces.

Techopedia Explains Bracket

Brackets are an important syntactic element in most major programming languages. They may take several forms. The most common are the “{}”, “[]”, ()” and “<>” brackets. There are several other names for these characters. The “{}” are referred to as curly brackets or braces while “<>” are often called angle brackets or braces. The term “curly braces” is more favored in the U.S., while “brackets” is more widely used in British English. The “()” are also frequently abbreviated as “parens” since they are parantheses characters. These characters are encoded in both ASCII and Unicode.

These brackets define important constructs in a programming language. For example, in C and languages influenced by C, “{}” denote a code block while “[]” refers to an array subscript. In Perl, the “<>” is referred to as the filehandle operator for reading from and writing to files.


Related Terms

Latest General Computing Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…