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Powerful computer programming language designed for manipulating lists of data or symbols rather than processing numerical data, used extensively in artificial-intelligence applications. It was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s by a group headed by John McCarthy at MIT. Its name derives from list processor. Radically different from such other programming languages as ALGOL, C, C++, FORTRAN, and Pascal, it requires large memory space and is slow in executing programs.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on LISP, visit Britannica.com.