<computer programming> A sequence of instructions that the processor repeats, either until some condition is met, or indefinitely.

In an structured language (e.g. C, Pascal, BASIC, or Fortran), a loop is usually achieved with for loop, while loop or repeat loop constructs.

In other languages these constructs may be synthesised with a jump (assembly language) or a GOTO (early Fortran or BASIC).

(01 Apr 1999)

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1. A fold or doubling of a thread, cord, rope, etc, through which another thread, cord, etc, can be passed, or which a hook can be hooked into; an eye, as of metal; a staple; a noose; a bight. "That the probation bear no hinge, nor loop To hang a doubt on." (Shak)

2. A small, narrow opening; a loophole. "And stop all sight-holes, every loop from whence The eye of Reason may pry in upon us." (Shak)

3. A curve of any kind in the form of a loop.

4. A wire forming part of a main circuit and returning to the point from which it starts.

5. <physics> The portion of a vibrating string, air column, etc, between two nodes; called also ventral segment. Loop knot, a single knot tied in a doubled cord, etc. So as to leave a loop beyond the knot.

Origin: Cf. Ir. & Gael. Lub loop, noose, fold, thong, bend, lub to bend, incline.

(01 Mar 1998)

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