Home : Software Terms : Pseudocode Definition

Pseudocode

Most software programs are developed using a programming language, like C++ or Java. These languages have a specific syntax that must be adhered to when writing program's source code. Pseudocode, on the other hand, is not a programming language, but simply an informal way of describing a program. It does not require strict syntax, but instead serves as a general representation of a program's functions.

Since each programming language uses a unique syntax structure, understanding the code of multiple languages can be difficult. Pseudocode remedies this problem by using conventional syntax and basic english phrases that are universally understood. For example, a line of PHP code may read:if ($i < 10) { i++; }

This could be written in pseudocode as:if i is less than 10, increment i by 1.

By describing a program in pseudocode, programmers of all types of languages can understand the function of a program.

Pseudocode is an informal language, so it is mainly used for creating an outline or a rough draft of a program. Because it is not an actual programming language, pseudocode cannot be compiled into an executable program. Therefore, pseudocode must be converted into a specific programming language if it is to become an usable application.

Updated: December 6, 2008

Cite this definition:

http://techterms.com/definition/pseudocode

TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definiton of Pseudocode. It explains in computing terminology what Pseudocode means and is one of many software terms in the TechTerms dictionary.

All definitions on the TechTerms website are written to be technically accurate but also easy to understand. If you find this Pseudocode definition to be helpful, you can reference it using the citation links above. If you think a term should be updated or added to the TechTerms dictionary, please email TechTerms!