I'm working on a program and need to separate operators into a class of unary and binary, but also into relational, arithmetic, logical, and bitwise.

I'm struggling with the naming of these two types.

What do I call relational, arithmetic, bitwise, and logical? I see that this relates to the function of an operator. Perhaps "function type"

What do I call unary, and binary? I see that unary and binary relate to the amount of operands an operator can take. Perhaps "operand type"

I'm not satisfied with just "operator type" because you can have a unary logical operator, and a binary relational one; it's not specific enough. They seem to specify different things about the operator and I can't exactly find the right word choice for this.

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


For the distinction between unary and binary, the term arity is used:

the arity of a function or operation is the number of arguments or operands that the function takes.

(source: Wikipedia)

  • This is a great answer! I just am stuck on the second part of my question now.
    – jacob
    Nov 18, 2018 at 8:23
  • Thank you. I have no suggestions for that part, unfortunately.
    – Glorfindel
    Nov 18, 2018 at 8:24
  • I'll go ahead and accept this answer, I think perhaps the further distinction may be unhelpful for my usecase as it's possible to define an operator that take both a logical operand and an arithmetic one.
    – jacob
    Nov 18, 2018 at 8:40

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