What Does Integer Mean?

An integer, in the context of computer programming, is a data type used to represent real numbers that do not have fractional values.


Different types of integer data types are stored on machines in different ways. For example, a short integer in many common programming languages is limited to a range of between 32,767 and -32,768. These limited ranges reveal the relationship between a numerical value as interpreted by humans, and how these values are stored in computer memory.

Techopedia Explains Integer

The use of integers as variables supports programming in various ways. For instance, a common strategy is to create an integer variable and store some value in it that will influence computations or calculations made within the program. Examples include primitive instances of code for counters, amortization schedules, calendars, etc.

Another core use of an integer data type is represented in code loops such as “while” statements. For example, a programmer can set up an integer value named “int” where int=1. Code can include the command “int = int + 1”, which will increase the value incrementally. The programmer can add additional commands for outcomes where the value reaches a certain critical point.


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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…