reserved word

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reserved word A word that has a specific role in the context in which it occurs, and therefore cannot be used for other purposes. For example, in many programming languages the words `IF' `THEN' `ELSE' are used to organize the presentation of the written form of statements (between `THEN' and `ELSE' and following `ELSE') whose execution is governed by the value of the Boolean expression between `IF' and `THEN'. The use of if, then, else as identifiers is thus not permitted in these languages since they are reserved words. See also keyword.