Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
machine code \machine code\ n. (Computers) Same as machine language.
n. (context computer science English) System of instructions and data directly understandable by a computer's central processing unit.
n. a set of instructions coded so that the computer can use it directly without further translation [syn: machine language]
Machine code or machine language is a set of instructions executed directly by a computer's central processing unit (CPU). Each instruction performs a very specific task, such as a load, a jump, or an ALU operation on a unit of data in a CPU register or memory. Every program directly executed by a CPU is made up of a series of such instructions.
Numerical machine code (i.e., not assembly code) may be regarded as the lowest-level representation of a compiled or assembled computer program or as a primitive and hardware-dependent programming language. While it is possible to write programs directly in numerical machine code, it is tedious and error prone to manage individual bits and calculate numerical addresses and constants manually. It is thus rarely done today, except for situations that require extreme optimization or debugging.
Almost all practical programs today are written in higher-level languages or assembly language. The source code is then translated to executable machine code by utilities such as compilers, assemblers, and linkers, with the important exception of interpreted programs, which are not translated into machine code. However, the interpreter itself, which may be seen as an executor or processor, performing the instructions of the source code, typically consists of directly executable machine code (generated from assembly or high level language source code).
Usage examples of "machine code".
The source code is then converted into machine code, which is what actually runs on the computer.
With another he stud- ied indecipherable strings of machine code as if they held the secret of his life.
This would have the effect of adding an extra line to the normal password routine in the machine code version.
As muddled as she was, she tried to read it, and saw that it was a hybrid of spell and machine code.
The machine code was unfathomable, but the wizard realized that parts of it had come from the coding that made Ayesha herself.