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C is a general-purpose, imperative computer programming language, supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope and recursion, while a static type system prevents many unintended operations. By design, C provides constructs that map efficiently to typical machine instructions, and therefore it has found lasting use in applications that had formerly been coded in assembly language, including operating systems, as well as various application software for computers ranging from supercomputers to embedded systems.

C
Text in light blue serif capital letters on white background and very large light blue sans-serif letter C.
The C Programming Language (often referred to as "K&R"), the seminal book on C
Paradigm Imperative (procedural), structured
Designed by Dennis Ritchie
Developer Dennis Ritchie & Bell Labs (creators); ANSI X3J11 (ANSI C); ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG14 (ISO C)
First appeared 1972; 45 years ago (1972)
Stable release
C11 / December 2011; 5 years ago (2011-12)
Typing discipline Static, weak, manifest, nominal
OS Cross-platform
Filename extensions .c, .h
Major implementations
K&R, GCC, Clang, Intel C, Microsoft Visual C++, Pelles C, Watcom C
Dialects
Cyclone, Unified Parallel C, Split-C, Cilk, C*
Influenced by
B (BCPL, CPL), ALGOL 68, Assembly, PL/I, FORTRAN
Influenced
Numerous: AMPL, AWK, csh, C++, C--, C#, Objective-C, BitC, D, Go, Java, JavaScript, Julia, Limbo, LPC, Perl, PHP, Pike, Processing, Python, Rust, Seed7, Vala, Verilog (HDL)

C (/ˈs/, as in the letter c) is a general-purpose, imperative computer programming language, supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope and recursion, while a static type system prevents many unintended operations. By design, C provides constructs that map efficiently to typical machine instructions, and therefore it has found lasting use in applications that had formerly been coded in assembly language, including operating systems, as well as various application software for computers ranging from supercomputers to embedded systems.

C was originally developed by Dennis Ritchie between 1969 and 1973 at Bell Labs, and used to re-implement the Unix operating system. It has since become one of the most widely used programming languages of all time, with C compilers from various vendors available for the majority of existing computer architectures and operating systems. C has been standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) since 1989 (see ANSI C) and subsequently by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).