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literal
Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 

In programming, a value written exactly as it's meant to be interpreted. In contrast, a variable is a name that can represent different values during the execution of the program. And a constant is a name that represents the same value throughout a program. But a literal is not a name -- it is the value itself.

A literal can be a number, a character, or a string. For example, in the expression,

x = 3

x is a variable, and 3 is a literal.

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