descriptor

[dih-skrip-ter]
noun
1.
a significant word or phrase used to categorize or describe text or other material, especially when indexing or in an information retrieval system.
2.
Computers. a data item that stores the attributes of some other datum: a task descriptor.

Origin:
1930–35, for an earlier sense; describe + -tor, with vowel change and devoicing by analogy with similar L derivatives

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Computing Dictionary

descriptor definition

operating system
An integer, string or other small data value which refers to one of several objects allocated to a program by the operating system, usually the kernel. A common example is a Unix file descriptor which is a small integer that identifies an I/O channel. Another example is a reference to an area of memory (e.g. shared memory).
Compare capability.
(1998-02-06)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Another ill-defined, ambiguous and ultimately poor descriptor.
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