Binary Operator

What Does Binary Operator Mean?

A binary operator is an operator that operates on two operands and manipulates them to return a result. Operators are represented by special characters or by keywords and provide an easy way to compare numerical values or character strings.


Binary operators are presented in the form:

Operand1 Operator Operand2

Techopedia Explains Binary Operator

Some common binary operators in computing include:

  • Equal (==)
  • Not equal (!=)
  • Less than (<)
  • Greater than (>)
  • Greater than or equal to (>=)
  • Less than or equal to (<=)
  • Logical AND (&&)
  • Logical OR (||)
  • Plus (+)
  • Minus (-)
  • Multiplication (*)
  • Divide (/)

Equal (==) and not-equal (!=) are called equality operators. They produce a result of true (or 1) or false (or 0). This type of operator returns "true" if both operands have the same value, or "false" if they don’t have the same value.

For example, the following conditional operation will be performed if the operands are equal:

if(operand1 == operand2)
//do the operation

Greater than (>), less than (<), greater than or equal to (>=) and less than or equal to (<=) are relation operators, which compare two operands and produce a result of either true or false. When two operands are compared, the result depends on the relative location of the two operands.

Logical AND (&&) and logical OR (||) are called logical operators. They compare operands and return a result of either true (1) or false (0). In logical AND, if both operands are true then the result is true. If either one of the operands is false, the result will be false. In logical OR, if both operands are true or either one of the operands is true then the result is true. If both operands are false then the result will be false.


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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…