1. cocaine.
2. Gram. complement.
3. consonant.
4. coulomb.
5. county (used with a number to designate a county road): C55.
1. the third in order or in a series.
2. (sometimes l.c.) (in some grading systems) a grade or mark, as in school or college, indicating the quality of a student's work as fair or average.
3. Music.
a. the first tone, or keynote, in the scale of C major or the third tone in the relative minor scale, A minor.
b. a string, key, or pipe tuned to this tone.
c. a written or printed note representing this tone.
d. (in the fixed system of solmization) the first tone of the scale of C major, called do.
e. the tonality having C as the tonic note.
f. a symbol indicating quadruple time and appearing after the clef sign on a musical staff.
4. (sometimes l.c.) the Roman numeral for 100.
5. Celsius.
6. centigrade.
7. Elect.
a. capacitance.
b. a battery size for 1.5 volt dry cells: diameter, 1 in. (2.5 cm); length, 1.9 in. (4.8 cm).
8. Chem. carbon.
9. Physics.
a. charge conjugation.
b. charm1 (def. 9).
10. Biochem.
a. cysteine.
b. cytosine.
11. Also, C-note. Slang. a hundred-dollar bill.
12. a proportional shoe width size, narrower than D and wider than B.
13. a proportional brassiere cup size, smaller than D and larger than B.
14. the lowest quality rating for a corporate or municipal bond.
15. Computers. a high-level programming language: very powerful and flexible, it is used in a wide variety of applications.

* * *

High-level procedural computer programming language with many low-level features, including the ability to handle memory addresses and bits. It is highly portable among platforms and therefore widely used in industry and among computer professionals. C was developed by Dennis M. Ritchie

born 1941

of Bell Laboratories in 1972.

The operating system UNIX was written almost exclusively in C, and C has been standardized as part of POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface for UNIX).

* * *

       computer programming language developed in the early 1970s by American computer scientist Dennis M. Ritchie at Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T Bell Laboratories). C was designed as a minimalist language to be used in writing operating systems for minicomputers, such as the DEC PDP 7, which had very limited memories compared with the mainframe computers of the period. The language was devised during 1969–73, alongside the early development of the UNIX operating system. It was based on CPL (Combined Programming Language), which had been first condensed into the B programming language—a stripped-down computer programming language—created in 1969–70 by Ken Thompson, an American computer scientist and a colleague of Ritchie. Ritchie subsequently rewrote and restored features from CPL to create C, eventually rewriting the UNIX operating system in the new language.

      As the UNIX system was enhanced, a series of changes took place in C between 1977 and 1979. During this time a description of the language became widely available through a book, The C Programming Language (1978), by Brian W. Kernighan and Ritchie. In the mid-1980s it became important to establish an official standard for C, since it was being used in projects subject to commercial and government contracts. In 1983 the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) set up a committee that further amended and standardized the language. Since then C has been referred to as ANSI Standard C, and it remains popular in the world of UNIX-like operating systems. C also became one of the most common programming languages used for writing other system software and applications. Descendants of C include Concurrent C, Objective C, C*, and the widely used C++. The programming language Java was introduced in 1994 as a simplified subset of C for deployment over the Internet and for use in portable devices with limited memory or limited processing capabilities.

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Universalium. 2010.

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