Home : Technical Terms : Column Definition


A column is a vertical group of values within a table. It contains values from a single field in multiple rows.

In databases, columns may be defined as individual fields within a table. Each field has a name, such as Name, Address, or Phone Number. Therefore, when multiple values from a column are selected, they will all have similar information, such as a list of phone numbers. When defining columns in databases and spreadsheets, it is often possible to specify the type of data, such as a string, number, or date. This helps ensure all the data within a given column has a similar format.

NOTE: While it is easy to get rows and columns confused, just remember that columns are vertical (like the columns used in architecture), while rows are horizontal, like rows of text.

Updated: June 8, 2011

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