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Computer programming[]

A variable (also a program variable) is a facility for storing data. The current value of the variable is the data actually stored in the variable. Depending on the programming language in question, the data stored in the variable can be intentionally altered during the program run. This is why it is called variable. The variable can be referenced by identifiers.


A variable is

  • "[a]ny characteristic on which individuals, groups, items, or incidents differ."[1]
  • "[a] symbol or placeholder that represents a changeable value or a value that has not yet been assigned."[2]


  1. U.S. Department of Justice, Minimum Criminal Intelligence Training Standards for Law Enforcement and Other Criminal Justice Agencies in the United States 47 (Ver. 2) (Oct. 2007) (full-text).
  2., GIS Glossary (full-text).

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