The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :
[techspeak] A name (possibly followed by a formal arg list) that is
equated to a text or symbolic expression to which it is to be expanded
(possibly with the substitution of actual arguments) by a macro expander.
This definition can be found in any technical dictionary; what those won't
tell you is how the hackish connotations of the term have changed over
The term macro originated in early assemblers, which encouraged the use of
macros as a structuring and information-hiding device. During the early
1970s, macro assemblers became ubiquitous, and sometimes quite as powerful
and expensive as HLLs, only to fall from favor as improving compiler
technology marginalized assembler programming (see languages of choice).
Nowadays the term is most often used in connection with the C preprocessor,
LISP, or one of several special-purpose languages built around a
macro-expansion facility (such as TeX or Unix's [nt]roff suite).
Indeed, the meaning has drifted enough that the collective macros is now
sometimes used for code in any special-purpose application control language
(whether or not the language is actually translated by text expansion), and
for macro-like entities such as the keyboard macros supported in some text
editors (and PC TSR or Macintosh INIT/CDEV keyboard enhancers).
Contactfirstname.lastname@example.org Specification=RFC 2229