An algorithm or program to determine the syntactic structure of ("to parse") a sentence or string of symbols in some language. A parser normally takes as input a sequence of tokens output by a lexical analyser. It may produce some kind of abstract syntax tree as output. A parser may be produced automatically from a grammar by a parser generator such as yacc.

A parser is normally part of some larger program, like a compiler, which takes the output of the parser and attempts to extract meaning from it in some way, e.g. translating it into another language.

Last updated: 2009-06-26

Nearby terms:

parsePARSECparsedparserparser generatorparsingParsley

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