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A bitwise operator treats its operands as a vector of bits rather than a single number. Boolean bitwise operators combine bit N of each operand using a Boolean function (NOT, AND, OR, XOR) to produce bit N of the result.

For example, a bitwise AND operator ("&" in C) would evaluate 13 & 9 as (binary) 1101 & 1001 = 1001 = 9, whereas, the logical AND, (C "&&") would evaluate 13 && 9 as TRUE && TRUE = TRUE = 1.

In some languages, e.g. Acorn's BASIC V, the same operators are used for both bitwise and logical operations. This usually works except when applying NOT to a value x which is neither 0 (false) nor -1 (true), in which case both x and (NOT x) will be non-zero and thus treated as TRUE.

Other operations at the bit level, which are not normally described as "bitwise" include shift and rotate.


Dealing with bits rather than larger structures such as a byte. For example, each of the eight bits in a byte can be used as an individual flag to signal yes/no, on/off (1 or 0) about some condition. The Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT also deal with individual bits rather than bytes.

Bitwise operators are programming commands that work with individual bits. The primary ones are:

Symbol   Function

    <<     Shift left 4 bits
    >>     Shift right 4 bits
    &      AND
    |      OR
    ^      XOR (Exclusive OR)
    ~      NOT (0 to 1; 1 to 0)
References in periodicals archive ?
The owners sent him to me to see if I can freshen him up because he's getting a bit wise to the game nowadays.
But thankfully I had been a bit wise with my money, I was trying to be careful, so I was able to stay above water.
He is five now and getting a bit wise, so we felt that blinkers could help him concentrate.
IQ(12)'s vertical storage architecture and patented column-based, bit wise Indexing technology stands apart from the competition in terms of speed, scalability and throughput.
Someone asked him if he had learned anything from the game - and he said something that would make even an old owl called Confucius go "Wow, THAT was a bit wise.
Breaking the news yesterday, David Pipe, who was able to use money won by Madison Du Berlais to buy Grands Crus and Wednesday's runaway bumper winner Gevrey Chambertin for owners Roger Stanley and Yvonne Reynolds, said: "Madison Du Berlais has got a bit wise to the game but retires a happy and sound horse.
They play in a certain way, and maybe a few sides are getting a bit wise to it.
NOTE: Adaptive Server, Sybase and Bit Wise are registered or unregistered trademarks of Sybase, Inc.
Marco Botti, trainer of Mosqueras Romance "After her last run Adam Kirby said to try her in blinkers as she may be a bit wise, so we are trying her in the headgear.
I thought the ground was a bit sticky for him at Beverley last time, but he might also be getting a bit wise in his old age and he seems to think he's done enough when he hits the front.
These chasers can get a bit wise - they almost know when they are badly handicapped and they end up not trying very hard.
He loves going to the racecourse, but we have a suspicion that perhaps he is getting a bit wise and is not putting it all in, and therefore there is a chance that if he doesn't run well he'll be retired after this race.