Share this entry

Share this page

placeholder

Line breaks: place|hold¦er
Pronunciation: /ˈpleɪshəʊldə(r)
 
/

Definition of placeholder in English:

noun

1 Mathematics A significant zero in the decimal representation of a number.
Example sentences
  • The use of zero as a placeholder was probably first developed by the Babylonians, possibly as early as 1500 BCE.
  • It emphasises the use of zero as a placeholder.
1.1A symbol or piece of text used in a mathematical expression or in an instruction in a computer program to denote a missing quantity or operator.
Example sentences
  • The HTML files contain placeholders for data that will be substituted in at runtime.
  • With the Impress files created, I needed to replace my graphic image placeholders with the actual image.
  • But even users of low-end databases can benefit from using placeholders because they ensure strings will be quoted correctly, even if they contain quotation marks or apostrophes.
2 Linguistics An element of a sentence that is required by syntactic constraints but carries little or no semantic information, for example the word it as a subject in it is a pity that she left, where the true subject is that she left.
Example sentences
  • According to this model, readers process text in parallel at several levels of analysis, which mesh the ease of identification with the role of function words as structural placeholders.
  • The it in suffice it to say is an impersonal or indefinite pronoun, one that functions as a grammatical placeholder without supplying much real meaning.

Definition of placeholder in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing