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Initialise



[ih-nish-uh-lahyz] /ɪˈnɪʃ əˌlaɪz/

verb (used with object), initialized, initializing. Computers.
1.
to set (variables, counters, switches, etc.) to their starting values at the beginning of a program or subprogram.
2.
to clear (internal memory, a disk, etc.) of previous data in preparation for use.
/ɪˈnɪʃəˌlaɪz/
verb
1.
(transitive) to assign an initial value to (a variable or storage location) in a computer program
v.

1833, “to designate by initials,” from initial + -ize. Meaning “to make ready for operation” is from 1957. Related: Initialized; initializing.

programming
To give a variable its first value. This may be done automatically by some languages or it may require explicit code by the programmer. Some languages allow initialisation to be combined with variable definition, e.g. in C:
int i = 0;
Failing to initialise a variable before using it is a common programming error, but one which compilers and automatic checkers like lint can easily detect.
(1997-06-08)

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