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data    : [d'etə] [d'ætə]
Data \Da"ta\, n. pl. [L. pl. of datum.]
1. See {Datum}.
[1913 Webster]

2. a collection of facts, observations, or other information
related to a particular question or problem; as, the
historical data show that the budget deficit is only a
small factor in determining interest rates.

Note: The term in this sense is used especially in reference
to experimental observations collected in the course of
a controlled scientific investigation.

3. (Computers) information, most commonly in the form of a
series of binary digits, stored on a physical storage
medium for manipulation by a computer program. It is
contrasted with the {program} which is a series of
instructions used by the central processing unit of a
computer to manipulate the data. In some conputers data
and execuatble programs are stored in separate locations.

Datum \Da"tum\, n.; pl. {Data}. [L. See 2d {Date}.]
1. Something given or admitted; a fact or principle granted;
that upon which an inference or an argument is based; --
used chiefly in the plural.
[1913 Webster]

Any writer, therefore, who . . . furnishes us with
data sufficient to determine the time in which he
wrote. --Priestley.
[1913 Webster]

2. a single piece of information; a fact; especially a piece
of information obtained by observation or experiment; --
used mostly in the plural.

3. pl. (Math.) The quantities or relations which are assumed
to be given in any problem.
[1913 Webster]

4. (Surveying) a point, line, or level surface used as a
reference in measuring elevations. --RHUD

{Datum line} (Surv.), the horizontal or base line, from which
the heights of points are reckoned or measured, as in the
plan of a railway, etc.
[1913 Webster]

n 1: a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn;
"statistical data" [synonym: {data}, {information}]

209 Moby Thesaurus words for "data":
ALGOL, COBOL, FORTRAN, Festschrift, a priori principle, account,
acquaintance, affirmation, alphabetic data, alphanumeric code, ana,
angular data, announcement, anthology, apriorism, aquarium,
assembler, assertion, assumed position, assumption, axiom, basis,
basis for belief, binary digit, binary scale, binary system, bit,
blue book, body, body of evidence, brass tacks, briefing, bug,
bulletin, byte, categorical proposition, chain of evidence,
chrestomathy, clue, collectanea, collection, command pulses,
commands, communication, communique, compilation, compiler,
computer code, computer language, computer program,
control signals, controlled quantity, corpus, correcting signals,
datum, details, directory, dispatch, documentation, enlightenment,
error, error signals, essential facts, essentials, evidence,
exhibit, experience, expertise, fact, facts, factual base,
factual information, familiarity, familiarization, feedback pulses,
feedback signals, figures, film data, first principles,
florilegium, foundation, fund, gen, general information, ground,
grounds, grounds for belief, guidebook, handout, hard information,
hexadecimal system, holdings, hypothesis, hypothesis ad hoc,
incidental information, indication, info, information, input data,
input quantity, instruction, instructions, intelligence, intimacy,
item of evidence, ken, know-how, knowing, knowledge, lemma,
library, light, machine language, major premise, manifestation,
mark, material grounds, materials, matter, menagerie, mention,
message, minor premise, multiple messages, muniments, museum,
mute witness, noise, notice, notification, numeric data,
octal system, oscillograph data, output data, output quantity,
philosopheme, philosophical proposition, piece of evidence, play,
polar data, position, postulate, postulation, postulatum,
practical knowledge, premise, premises, presentation,
presupposition, private knowledge, privity, promotional material,
proof, proposition, propositional function, publication, publicity,
punch-card data, random data, ratio cognoscendi, raw data,
reason to believe, rectangular data, reference quantity, release,
relevant fact, report, ruly English, self-knowledge, sidelight,
sign, signals, single messages, statement, statistics, sumption,
supposal, symptom, technic, technics, technique, text, the data,
the details, the dope, the facts, the goods, the information,
the know, the particulars, the picture, the scoop, the score,
the specifics, the whole story, theorem, thesis, token,
transmission, treasure, truth table, truth-function, truth-value,
unorganized data, visible-speech data, white book, white paper,
word, zoo

/day't*/ (Or "raw data")
Numbers, {characters}, {images}, or other method of recording,
in a form which can be assessed by a human or (especially)
input into a {computer}, stored and {processed} there, or
transmitted on some {digital channel}. Computers nearly
always represent data in {binary}.

Data on its own has no meaning, only when interpreted by some
kind of {data processing system} does it take on meaning and
become {information}.

For example, the binary data 01110101 might represent the
integer 117 or the {ASCII} lower case U character or the blue
component of a pixel in some {video}. Which of these it
represents is determined by the way it is processed (added,
printed, displayed, etc.). Even these numbers, characters or
pixels however are still not really information until their
context is known, e.g. my bank balance is £117, there are two
Us in "vacuum", you have blue eyes.


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English Dictionary  2005-2009

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