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[dih-skrip-ter] /dɪˈskrɪp tər/
a significant word or phrase used to categorize or describe text or other material, especially when indexing or in an information retrieval system.
Computers. a data item that stores the attributes of some other datum:
a task descriptor.
Origin of descriptor
1930-35, for an earlier sense; describe + -tor, with vowel change and devoicing by analogy with similar L derivatives Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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descriptor in Technology

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.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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