What is truncate? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Programming glossary:

To truncate is to shorten by cutting off. In computer terms, when information is truncated, it is ended abruptly at a certain spot. For example, if a program truncates a field containing the value of pi (3.14159265...) at four decimal places, the field would show 3.1415 as an answer. This is different from rounding, which would result in the answer of 3.1416.

For another example, consider a text entry field in an electronic form. If a program limits the size of the field to 255 characters, it may allow you to continue typing past the maxiumum number of characters. However, when the information is submitted or saved, the program truncates the data to the first 255 characters and any additional characters are disregarded.

Several operating systems or programming languages use truncate as a command or function for limiting the size of a field, data stream, or file. Linux includes a truncate command for rounding integers.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms



  • Programming

    - Terms related to software programming, including definitions about programming languages and words and phrases about software design, coding, testing and debugging.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.