<computer programming> A description of an operator taking three arguments. The only common example is C's ?: operator which is used in the form "CONDITION ? EXP1 : EXP2" and returns EXP1 if CONDITION is true else EXP2. Haskell has a similar "if CONDITION then EXP1 else EXP2" operator.

See also: unary, binary.

(01 Apr 1998)

term rewriting system, Terms Of Service, tern < Prev | Next > ternary, ternary complex, ternate

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1. Proceeding by threes; consisting of three; as, the ternary number was anciently esteemed a symbol of perfection, and held in great veneration.

2. <chemistry> Containing, or consisting of, three different parts, as elements, atoms, groups, or radicals, which are regarded as having different functions or relations in the molecule; thus, sodic hydroxide, NaOH, is a ternary compound.

Origin: L. Ternarius, fr. Terni. See Tern.

(01 Mar 1998)

term rewriting system, Terms Of Service, tern, ternary < Prev | Next > ternary complex, ternate, teroxide

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