Home : Technical Terms : DDL Definition


Stands for "Data Definition Language." A DDL is a language used to define data structures and modify data. For example, DDL commands can be used to add, remove, or modify tables within in a database. DDLs used in database applications are considered a subset of SQL, the Structured Query Language. However, a DDL may also define other types of data, such as XML.

A Data Definition Language has a pre-defined syntax for describing data. For example, to build a new table using SQL syntax, the CREATE command is used, followed by parameters for the table name and column definitions. The DDL can also define the name of each column and the associated data type. Once a table is created, it can be modified using the ALTER command. If the table is no longer needed, the DROP command can be used to delete the table.

Since DDL is a subset of SQL, it does not include all the possible SQL commands. For example, commands such as SELECT and INSERT are considered part of the Data Manipulation Language (DML), while access commands such as CONNECT and EXECUTE are part of the Data Control Language (DCL). The DDL, DML, and DCL languages include most of the commands supported by SQL.

Updated: February 12, 2015

Cite this definition:


TechTerms - The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

This page contains a technical definition of DDL. It explains in computing terminology what DDL means and is one of many technical 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 DDL 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!

Subscribe to the TechTerms Newsletter to get featured terms and quizzes right in your inbox. You can choose to receive either a daily or weekly email.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe at any time.
Questions? Please contact us.