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3 definitions found
 for hexadecimal
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  hexadecimal
      adj 1: of or pertaining to a number system having 16 as its base
             [syn: hexadecimal, hex]

From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  hexadecimal
   n.
  
      Base 16. Coined in the early 1950s to replace earlier sexadecimal, which
      was too racy and amusing for stuffy IBM, and later adopted by the rest of
      the industry.
  
      Actually, neither term is etymologically pure. If we take binary to be
      paradigmatic, the most etymologically correct term for base 10, for
      example, is ?denary?, which comes from ?deni? (ten at a time, ten each), a
      Latin distributive number; the corresponding term for base-16 would be
      something like ?sendenary?. ?Decimal? comes from the combining root of
      decem, Latin for 10. If wish to create a truly analogous word for base 16,
      we should start with sedecim, Latin for 16. Ergo, sedecimal is the word
      that would have been created by a Latin scholar. The ?sexa-? prefix is
      Latin but incorrect in this context, and ?hexa-? is Greek. The word octal
      is similarly incorrect; a correct form would be ?octaval? (to go with
      decimal), or ?octonary? (to go with binary). If anyone ever implements a
      base-3 computer, computer scientists will be faced with the unprecedented
      dilemma of a choice between two correct forms; both ternary and trinary
      have a claim to this throne.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  hexadecimal
  sexadecimal
  
      (Or "hex") Base 16.  A number representation
     using the digits 0-9, with their usual meaning, plus the
     letters A-F (or a-f) to represent hexadecimal digits with
     values of (decimal) 10 to 15.  The right-most digit counts
     ones, the next counts multiples of 16, then 16^2 = 256, etc.
  
     For example, hexadecimal BEAD is decimal 48813:
  
     	digit    weight        value
     	B = 11   16^3 = 4096   11*4096 = 45056
     	E = 14   16^2 =  256   14* 256 =  3584
     	A = 10   16^1 =   16   10*  16 =   160
     	D = 13   16^0 =    1   13*   1 =    13
     					 -----
     				BEAD   = 48813
  
     There are many conventions for distinguishing hexadecimal
     numbers from decimal or other bases in programs.  In C for
     example, the prefix "0x" is used, e.g. 0x694A11.
  
     Hexadecimal is more succinct than binary for representing
     bit-masks, machines addresses, and other low-level constants
     but it is still reasonably easy to split a hex number into
     different bit positions, e.g. the top 16 bits of a 32-bit word
     are the first four hex digits.
  
     The term was coined in the early 1960s to replace earlier
     "sexadecimal", which was too racy and amusing for stuffy
     IBM, and later adopted by the rest of the industry.
  
     Actually, neither term is etymologically pure.  If we take
     "binary" to be paradigmatic, the most etymologically correct
     term for base ten, for example, is "denary", which comes from
     "deni" (ten at a time, ten each), a Latin "distributive"
     number; the corresponding term for base sixteen would be
     something like "sendenary".  "Decimal" is from an ordinal
     number; the corresponding prefix for six would imply something
     like "sextidecimal".  The "sexa-" prefix is Latin but
     incorrect in this context, and "hexa-" is Greek.  The word
     octal is similarly incorrect; a correct form would be
     "octaval" (to go with decimal), or "octonary" (to go with
     binary).  If anyone ever implements a base three computer,
     computer scientists will be faced with the unprecedented
     dilemma of a choice between two *correct* forms; both
     "ternary" and "trinary" have a claim to this throne.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1996-03-09)
  

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