In a binary number, the smallest addressable value is called as a bit.

In a decimal number, the smallest addressable value is called as a digit.

In an octal number, what is the smallest addressable value called as?


2 Answers 2


No matter what base system you use it is called a digit.

So if it is not clear from the context and you need/want to emphasize that it is a digit of a number in base 8 representation then call it octal digit.

Note: Also "bit" is just short for "binary digit".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Nov 14, 2019 at 19:30

According to the Obsolete and unusual units section of the Units of information wikipedia page, an octal digit (3 bit word) has been variously described using the terms:

  • tribit, triad, triade, and tribble.

which all fit quite nicely.

Having said that, having been a programmer for over 30 years I have never come across any of these words being used in this sense.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This would be improved by a source other than wikipedia (even just linking through to wikipedia's sources would work) \$\endgroup\$
    – Hearth
    Nov 14, 2019 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I looked at the wikipedia references and found that most of them were indirect, and would thus require further research to follow up on. If you have more appropriate citations, feel free to create your own answer or edit them into mine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Booth
    Nov 15, 2019 at 11:23

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