Machine language

Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope

Sometimes referred to as machine code or object code, machine language is a collection of binary digits or bits that the computer reads and interprets. Machine language is the only language a computer is capable of understanding.

The exact machine language for a program or action can differ by operating system on the computer. The specific operating system will dictate how a compiler writes a program or action into machine language.

Computer programs are written in one or more programming languages, like C++, Java, or Visual Basic. A computer cannot directly understand the programming languages used to create computer programs, so the program code must be compiled. Once a program's code is compiled, the computer can understand it because the program's code is turned into machine language.

Machine language example

Below is an example of machine language (binary) for the text "Hello World".

01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100000 01010111 01101111 01110010 01101100 01100100

Below is another example of machine language (non-binary), which will print the letter "A" 1000 times to the computer screen.

169 1 160 0 153 0 128 153 0 129 153 130 153 0 131 200 208 241 96

Assembly language, Binary, Compilation, High-level language, Low-level language, Machine-readable, Object file, Programming terms, Pseudolanguage, Special purpose language