(programming)   A single instruction in a computer program written in a procedural language. Typical examples are an assignment statement, an if statement (conditional), a loop statement ("while", "for", "repeat", "until", etc.), a procedure call, a procedure exit, function return statement, switch statement or goto statement.

In many languages, one or more simple statements can be executed sequentially as a compound statement, e.g. bracketed between "begin" and "end" or "" and "" which can then appear in place of a simple statement in an "if" or loop.

Each statement in a high-level language will typically be translated into several machine code instructions by a compiler or, alternatively, executed by an interpreter.

Last updated: 2009-10-23