<data, computer architecture> A computer architecture in which, within a given 16- or 32-bit word, bytes at lower addresses have lower significance (the word is stored "little-end-first"). The PDP-11 and VAX families of computers and Intel microprocessors and a lot of communications and networking hardware are little-endian.

The term is sometimes used to describe the ordering of units other than bytes; most often, bits within a byte.

Compare: big-endian, middle-endian. See NUXI problem.

(01 Mar 1995)

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