In mathematics, an operand is an object to which an operator (+, -, ×, ÷) is applied. For example, in the equation 7 + 5 = 12, the numbers 7 and 5 are operands. The plus symbol (+) is the operator and the value after the equal sign (12) is the result.

In computer science, an operand is a value within a function. It may be a specific number or a variable. Operands can be defined within a function or passed into a function via one or more parameters. The function below includes three operands, including two variables and one constant.

sumPlusTen(x, y)
	const Z = 10;
	$sum = $x + $y + Z;
	return $sum;

In the example above, $x, $y, and Z are operands in the equation used to calculate $sum. The variables $x and $y are passed to the function sumPlusTen() as parameters, while the constant Z is defined within the function as 10. If sumPlusTen(5,6) is called with a program, it would calculate $sum using the operands 5, 6, and 10 and return a value of 21.

Updated February 16, 2021 by Per C.

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of Operand on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Operand definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.