Skip to main content

assignment statement

assignment statement A fundamental statement of all programming languages (except declarative languages) that assigns a new value to a variable. The typical form in Algol-like languages is variable := expression

where := is read as “becomes”; the symbol suggests a left-pointing arrow to signify the conveyance of a value to the variable on the left. Other languages (particularly Basic, C, and Fortran) use = as the assignment operator, e.g. a = b + c

This leads to problems in expressing the concept of equality. Basic, being an unsophisticated language, is able to use = for both purposes; C uses == for equality and Fortran uses .EQ.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"assignment statement." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"assignment statement." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/assignment-statement

"assignment statement." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/assignment-statement

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.