- a series of lines of varying width, printed, as on a container or product, that can be read by an optical scanner to determine charges for purchases, destinations for letters, etc.Compare Universal Product Code.
verb (used with object), bar·cod·ed, bar·cod·ing.
- to put a barcode on.
- commerce a machine-readable arrangement of numbers and parallel lines of different widths printed on a package, which can be electronically scanned at a checkout to register the price of the goods and to activate computer stock-checking and reorderingAlso called: Universal Product Code, UPC
A series of parallel lines that can be read by an optical scanner and decoded by a computer into usable information. The ten-line Universal Product Code (UPC) on the packaging of retail items is an example of this. The key to this code is the variation in line thickness and separation.