token

Definitions

General English

Computing

  • noun an internal code which replaces a reserved word or program statement in a high-level language
  • noun a control packet which is passed between workstations to control access to the network

Electronics

  • A data frame that is circulated throughout a token passing-network. A given number of empty data frames, or tokens, circulate along the nodes, and when a specific node wishes to transmit, it inserts a message. All nodes monitor these circulating tokens, and when the destination node examines it, it accepts the message, resetting the status of said token to available. Thus, this token is first available, becomes occupied, then is freed again. To avoid collisions, a token can only be sent by a node which has possession of it at the moment.

Marketing

  • noun a device which involves the customer in an offer, e.g. a piece cut out of a newspaper which can be redeemed for a special premium offer
  • noun a plastic or metal disk, similar to a coin, used in some slot machines

Origin & History of “token”

A token is etymologically something that ‘shows’ you something. It comes from a prehistoric Germanic *taiknam, which also produced German zeichen ‘sign’. this in turn was formed from a base *taik- ‘show’, which also produced English teach.
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