imperative language

(language)   Any programming language that specifies explicit manipulation of the state of the computer system, not to be confused with a procedural language, which specifies an explicit sequence of steps to perform.

An example of an imperative (but non-procedural) language is a data manipulation language for a relational database management system. This specifies changes to the database but does not necessarily require anyone to specify a sequence of steps.

Both contrast with declarative languages, which specify neither explicit state manipulation nor a sequence of steps.

Last updated: 2007-10-02


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