byte

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byte A fixed number of bits that can be treated as a unit by the computer hardware. It is a subdivision of a word, and almost always comprises 8 bits although 6, 7, or 9 bits are occasionally encountered.

The letters B and b are commonly used as symbols for byte, as in MB (megabyte), and GB (gigabyte), although the word is often written in full in such cases, as in Mbyte.

See also character.

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byte / bīt/ • n. Comput. a group of binary digits or bits (usually eight) operated on as a unit. Compare with bit4 . ∎  such a group as a unit of memory size.

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byte Binary number used to represent the letters, numbers and other characters in a computer system. Each byte consists of the same number of bits. Byte is a contraction of the words “by eight”, and originally meant an eight-bit byte, such as 01101010 (representing j on most systems). Many computers now use 16-, 32-, or 64-bit bytes.

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byte A group of 8 bits of digital data in binary form. A byte can represent values of 0–225.