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What Does Delimiter Mean?

A delimiter is a unique character or series of characters that indicates the beginning or end of a specific statement, string or function body set.


Delimiters are used in programming languages to specify code set characters or data strings, serve as data and code boundaries and facilitate the interpretation of code and the segmentation of various implemented data sets and functions.

Techopedia Explains Delimiter

Software programs include multiple data streams, functions and conditions. Programming languages use delimiters in different coding scenarios to determine specific type and instruction boundaries. Because delimiters – such as commas and full stops – define different condition types, the delimiter concept is very similar to the English language.

Delimiter examples include:

  • Round brackets or parentheses: ( )
  • Curly brackets: { }
  • Escape sequence or comments: /*
  • Double quotes for defining string literals: ” “

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret 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 IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.