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A delimiter is a sequence of one or more characters for specifying the boundary between separate, independent regions in plain text, mathematical expressions or other data streams. An example of a delimiter is the comma character, which acts as a field delimiter in a sequence of comma-separated values. Another example of a delimiter is the time gap used to separate letters and words in the transmission of Morse code.
In mathematics, delimiters are often used to specify the scope of an operation, and can occur both as isolated symbols (e.g., colon in "") and as a pair of opposing-looking symbols (e.g., angled brackets in ).
Delimiters represent one of various means of specifying boundaries in a data stream. Declarative notation, for example, is an alternate method that uses a length field at the start of a data stream to specify the number of characters that the data stream contains.