Expression (computer science)

In computer science, an expression is a syntactic entity in a programming language that may be evaluated to determine its value.[1] It is a combination of one or more constants, variables, functions, and operators that the programming language interprets (according to its particular rules of precedence and of association) and computes to produce ("to return", in a stateful environment) another value. This process, for mathematical expressions, is called evaluation.

In simple settings, the resulting value is usually one of various primitive types, such as numerical, string, boolean, complex data type or other types.

Expression is often contrasted with statement—a syntactic entity that has no value (an instruction).

  1. ^ Mitchell, J.. (2002). Concepts in Programming Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 3.4.1 Statements and Expressions, p. 26