- (computing) Of a computer, storing multibyte numbers with the most significant byte at a greater (little-endian) or lower (big-endian) address.
end + -ian; from a passage in Gulliver's Travels in which an emperor, after cutting his finger after opening an egg at the large end, commands his subjects to open them at the small end; those who comply are called “Little-Endians”, while those who rebel by opening their eggs at the large end are called “Big-Endians.”
endian - Computer Definition
A suffix that indicates the ordering of bytes in a multi-byte number. The term “big-endian” means putting the most significant byte first. The term “little-endian” means putting the least significant byte first.
See Also: Byte.