What Does Operand Mean?

An operand is an object of a mathematical or other operation. These are commonly expressed in computer programming as constants or variables.


Techopedia Explains Operand

The operand is the object that is being worked on by an operation. Operations can be mathematical ones such as multiplication or addition, or they can be more sophisticated functions.

A basic example of an operand would be a variable declared in a program that would change value because of operations. For example, a programmer can create a variable x. He can set the value of x at anything, for example, one. Then, that value can be changed using an operator, for example, by entering something like x=x +3. The value of x then becomes 4.

Different operators continue to change this operand for programming and computing purposes.

Calling an operand an ‘object’ also shows how the evolution of computer programming has treated this principle.

Through the introduction of something called ‘object-oriented programming,’ these basic variables, which are the operands in many computer programs, have been invested with more detailed properties and characteristics, through ideas like programmed programming classes and arrays.


Related Terms

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…