Definition of endian in US English:

endian

adjective

Computing
  • Denoting or relating to a system of ordering data in a computer's memory whereby the most significant (big-endian) or least significant (little-endian) byte is put first.

    • ‘As a student and research assistant at Columbia University's Computer Music Center, I took a first stab at a Linux port which had to use this program to unswap big-endian files.’
    • ‘If one number in the file is little-endian, the whole file will be little-endian.’
    • ‘In the bigendian systems, those bytes happened to be zeros (making the system appear to work properly), while on the little-endian systems, they were nonzero, causing the string to appear to be corrupted.’
    • ‘Remember, on a little-endian machine, the first byte is the least significant one.’
    • ‘Out of the many advantages to this format, one is quite relevant to Linux users: it is fully binary-compatible across big-endian and little-endian computers.’

Origin

1980s: from Swift's Gulliver's Travels, in which big-endians and little-endians ate boiled eggs by breaking the ‘big’ end or ‘little’ end respectively.

Pronunciation

endian

/ˈendēən/