Machine Language Definition & Meaning

Machine language is the lowest-level programming language (except for computers that utilize programmable microcode). Machine languages are the only languages understood by computers.

Why Humans Don’t Use Machine Language

While easily understood by computers, machine languages are almost impossible for humans to use because they consist entirely of numbers. Programmers, therefore, use either a high-level programming language or an assembly language. An assembly language contains the same instructions as a machine language, but the instructions and variables have names instead of being just numbers.

machine language

Programs written in high-level languages are translated into assembly language or machine language by a compiler. Assembly language programs are translated into machine language by a program called an assembler.

Every CPU has its own unique machine language. Programs must be rewritten or recompiled, therefore, to run on different types of computers.

Vangie Beal
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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