Definition

key-value pair (KVP)

What is key-value pair?

A key-value pair (KVP) is a set of two linked data items: a key, which is a unique identifier for some item of data, and the value, which is either the data that is identified or a pointer to the location of that data. Key-value pairs are frequently used in lookup tables, hash tables and configuration files.

This was last updated in August 2008

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It's "key/value", not "key-value."

When there are two sides to something, you use a slash. Like a "win/win situation;" the slash separates the two sides (the typical situation is win/lose). In a key/value pair, there's a key on one side and an associated value on the other.

A hyphen is used to combine multiple words to make a single descriptive term, as in, "a built-in shelving unit." Or, "the not-yet-discovered element."
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