1. <grammar> A basic, grammatically indivisible unit of a language such as a keyword, operator or identifier. Compare: lexeme.

2. <convention> (Or "pumpkin") An abstact concept passed between cooperating agents to ensure synchronised access to a shared resource. Such a token is never duplicated or destroyed (unless the resource is) and whoever has the token has exclusive access to the resource it controls. See for example token ring.

If several programmers are working on a program, one programmer will "have the token" at any time, meaning that only he can change the program whereas others can only read it. If someone else wants to modify it he must first obtain the token.

(01 Apr 1999)

tokamak physics experiment, tokay, Tokelau ringworm < Prev | Next > token, token bus, token economy

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1. Something intended or supposed to represent or indicate another thing or an event; a sign; a symbol; as, the rainbow is a token of God's covenant established with Noah.

2. A memorial of friendship; something by which the friendship of another person is to be kept in mind; a memento; a souvenir. "This is some token from a never friend." (Shak)

3. Something given or shown as a symbol or guarantee of authority or right; a sign of authenticity, of power, good faith, etc. "Say, by this token, I desire his company." (Shak)

4. A piece of metal intended for currency, and issued by a private party, usually bearing the name of the issuer, and redeemable in lawful money. Also, a coin issued by government, especially. When its use as lawful money is limited and its intrinsic value is much below its nominal value.

5. <medicine> A livid spot upon the body, indicating, or supposed to indicate, the approach of death. "Like the fearful tokens of the plague, Are mere forerunners of their ends." (Beau. & Fl)

6. Ten and a half quires, or, commonly, 250 sheets, of paper printed on both sides; also, in some cases, the same number of sheets printed on one side, or half the number printed on both sides.

7. A piece of metal given beforehand to each person in the congregation who is permitted to partake of the Lord's Supper.

8. <chemical>

A bit of leather having a peculiar mark designating a particular miner. Each hewer sends one of these with each corf or tub he has hewn. Token money, money which is lawfully current for more than its real value. See Token. Token sheet, the last sheet of each token.

Origin: OE. Token, taken, AS. Tacen; akin to OFries. Teken, OS. Tekan, D. Teeken, G. Zeichen, OHG. Zeihhan, Icel. Takan, teiken, Sw. Tecken, Dan. Tegn, Goth. Taikns sign, token, gateihan to tell, show, AS. Teon to accuse, G. Zeihen, OHG. Zihan, G. Zeigen to show, OHG. Zeigon, Icel. Tja, L. Dicere to say, Gr. To show, Skr. Di. Cf. Diction, Teach.

(01 Mar 1998)

tokamak physics experiment, tokay, Tokelau ringworm, token < Prev | Next > token bus, token economy, token ring

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