Subroutine



noun, Computers.
1.
an instruction sequence in a machine or assembly language program that can be prewritten and referred to as often as needed.
Compare procedure (def 4a).
noun
1.
a section of a computer program that is stored only once but can be used when required at several different points in the program, thus saving space Also called procedure
programming
(Or “procedure”) A sequence of instructions for performing a particular task. Most programming languages, including most machine languages, allow the programmer to define subroutines. This allows the subroutine code to be called from multiple places, even from within itself (in which case it is called recursive). The programming language implementation takes care of returning control to (just after) the calling location, usually with the support of call and return instructions at machine language level.
Most languages also allow arguments to be passed to the subroutine, and one, or occasionally more, return values to be passed back.
A function is often very similar to a subroutine, the main difference being that it is called chiefly for its return value, rather than for any side effects.
(1996-10-01)

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