Attribute

(1) A characteristic. In a word processing application, an underlined word would be said to have the underline attribute. In database systems, a field can have various attributes. For example, if it contains numeric data, it has the numeric attribute.

(2) In database management systems, the term attribute is sometimes used as a synonym for field.

(3) In DOS systems, every file has a file attribute that indicate several properties of the file. For example, they indicate whether the file is read-only, whether it needs to be backed up, and whether it is visible or hidden.

(4) A language construct that programmers use to add additional information (i.e., metadata) to code elements (e.g., assemblies, modules, members, types, return values, and parameters) to extend their functionality.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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