Sigil Definition & Meaning

A sigil is a symbol used in some programming languages to indicate different program features. BASIC and Perl are two of the most popular languages to use sigils. Typically, the sigil initializes a variable, collection of variables, collection of characters, or string. In BASIC, for example, the sigil $ indicates a variable with a string.

In the Perl programming language, @ designates an array, which is a collection of variables that have similar data types. $ designates scalars or variables that hold a specific value.

In Elixir, sigils can introduce different elements in programming: ~s initializes a string, while ~S initializes a raw string literal (which does not allow escapes). ~w is used to separate a list of words:

~w (word word word)






Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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