Boolean

What Does Boolean Mean?

Boolean refers to a system of logical thought that is used to create true/false statements. A Boolean value expresses a truth value (which can be either true or false). Boolean expressions use the operators AND, OR, XOR and NOT to compare values and return a true or false result.

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Boolean logic was developed by George Boole, an English mathematician and philosopher, and has become the basis of modern digital computer logic.

Techopedia Explains Boolean

Because computer operate in binary, computer logic can often be represented in Boolean terms. For example, Boolean logic may describe computer circuit states that are charged (1, or true) or not charged (0, or false). This describes the basic binary concept upon which computer processing is based.

Boolean logic is also commonly seen when performing Web searches on a search engine. For example, if a person is searching for a document that contains both the words “Boolean” and “computer science”, a search phrase might be created using the Boolean operator “and”: “Boolean and computer science.” In this case, the operator “and” tells the search engine that it should be seeking results that contain both terms. Similarly, the search phrase “Boolean not computer science” will tell the search engine to seek results that contain the first term but omit results that include both terms.

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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.