Definition of Alphanumeric

Alphanumeric is a term used to describe a character set that includes both letters and numbers. It consists of the 26 uppercase and lowercase letters of the Latin alphabet (A-Z, a-z) and the 10 Arabic numerals (0-9). This combination of characters is commonly used in various forms of data entry, coding, and information processing.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Alphanumeric” can be represented as: æl-fə-ˈnu-mɪr-ɪk Here is a breakdown of the phonetic sounds:- æl: as in the word “pal”- fə: as in the word “sofa”- ˈnu: as in the word “new” with emphasis on the syllable- mɪr: as in the word “mirror”- ɪk: as in the word “tick”

Key Takeaways

  1. Alphanumeric is a combination of alphabetic and numeric characters, which may include letters, numbers, and special characters like hyphens and underscores.
  2. It is widely used in generating various identification codes, passwords, and usernames for increased security and uniqueness.
  3. Alphanumeric systems simplify data organization, sorting, and searching due to their structured nature and the use of both letters and numbers.

Importance of Alphanumeric

The term “alphanumeric” is important in the context of technology because it refers to the combination of alphabetic (letters) and numeric (numbers) characters, which are the primary components of written human language and computer coding.

This combination allows for a diverse range of data representation, making it easier to create and store various types of information, such as names, addresses, usernames, passwords, and other identifiers that include both letters and numbers.

Additionally, alphanumeric characters are vital in the encoding and decoding of digital communication and facilitate a better understanding of instructions, records, and programming languages in computer systems, thus playing a crucial role in the functionality and efficiency of electronic devices and digital information processing.


Alphanumeric characters serve a fundamental purpose in the world of technology, enabling us to represent a vast array of information through a simple, standardized set of elements. As a blend of alphabetic letters (A-Z, both upper and lowercase) and numerals (0-9), this versatile character set allows us to express names, addresses, codes, numbers, and other essential data with ease.

Alphanumeric characters often form the backbone of various computational tasks, bolstering functionality in programming languages, data storage, and communication systems. They provide a simple, yet powerful, means to encode information, allowing humans and machines to interact more efficiently.

In everyday use, alphanumeric characters prove invaluable as naming conventions in file systems, unique identifiers in databases, and, crucially, serve as the basis for passwords, offering a vast combination of possibilities for added security. Moreover, they ensure compatibility across multiple systems by maintaining a consistent representation of data, enhancing the seamless exchange of information across digital platforms.

From the early days of computing to the present, alphanumeric characters have held a vital role in shaping the structure of the digital landscape, offering a fundamental method for representing, storing, and transmitting the vast wealth of human knowledge.

Examples of Alphanumeric

License Plates: Alphanumeric codes are often used in car license plates. These codes typically consist of a combination of letters and numbers to create a unique identifier for each registered vehicle. The usage of both letters and numbers allows for a vast number of possible combinations, making it easier for government authorities to track and manage registered vehicles.

Aircraft Tail Numbers: An aircraft’s tail number, also known as a registration number, is an alphanumeric code used to identify individual aircraft. The registration number usually begins with a prefix that corresponds to the country of registration, followed by a series of letters and numbers unique to that specific aircraft. This unique code allows air traffic controllers, airlines, and other aviation authorities to manage and track the flights of aircraft globally.

Internet Domain Names: Domain names, such as, are alphanumeric identifiers that represent the address of a website on the internet. The use of alphanumeric characters in domain names enables a more comprehensive and adaptable address system, making it easier for users to remember and access websites. Domain names consist of a series of alphanumeric characters separated by periods (.), where each segment represents a specific hierarchy or category on the internet.

Alphanumeric FAQ

What is an alphanumeric character?

An alphanumeric character is a combination of alphabetic characters (letters A-Z, a-z) and numeric characters (digits 0-9). It is typically used to describe text that includes both letters and numbers.

What are some examples of alphanumeric characters?

Examples of alphanumeric characters include a1b2c3, A12B23C45, and 1a2b3c. The characters can be a mix of letters and numbers in any order, and they can include uppercase and lowercase letters.

What are the common uses of alphanumeric characters?

Alphanumeric characters are commonly used in creating passwords, usernames, filenames, and unique identifiers. They provide a larger set of characters when compared to purely numeric or alphabetic characters, which makes them a popular choice for improved security and reduced predictability.

How many alphanumeric characters are there?

There are 62 alphanumeric characters in total: 26 lowercase letters (a-z), 26 uppercase letters (A-Z), and 10 digits (0-9).

Are special characters considered alphanumeric characters?

No, special characters such as @, #, $, %, &, and * are not considered alphanumeric characters. Alphanumeric characters only consist of letters and numbers.

Related Technology Terms

  • ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
  • Character Encoding
  • Unicode
  • UTF-8 (Unicode Transformation Format)
  • Text literals

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents