Definition of Backtick

The backtick (`) is a typographical symbol, also known as a grave accent or backquote, often used in computer programming and scripting languages. It can indicate a command substitution, allow the execution of an expression within a string, or create multi-line strings in some programming languages, such as JavaScript. Its function and implementation vary depending on the context and the programming language being used.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Backtick” can be represented as: [bækˈtɪk]- ‘b’ represents the ‘b’ sound, as in ‘boy’- ‘æ’ represents the ‘a’ sound, as in ‘cat’- ‘k’ represents the ‘k’ sound, as in ‘cake’- ‘ˈ’ represents the primary stress in the word- ‘t’ represents the ‘t’ sound, as in ‘top’- ‘ɪ’ represents the short ‘i’ sound, as in ‘bit’- ‘k’ again represents the ‘k’ sound, as in ‘cake’

Key Takeaways

  1. Backticks are used in JavaScript to create template literals, which allow for embedded expressions and multi-line strings.
  2. Template literals can be used for string interpolation, by embedding expressions inside ${} within the backticks, which will be automatically evaluated and concatenated with surrounding strings.
  3. Backticks can also be used to evaluate and display tagged template literals, which are created by prefixing a function to the template literal, allowing for additional customization and processing of the content within the backticks.

Importance of Backtick

The backtick (`) is an important technology term primarily because it serves as a unique character in various programming languages and software applications.

Often referred to as a grave accent, it functions differently in different contexts.

In some programming languages like JavaScript and Python, the backtick is used to define template literals or strings that can embed expressions and support multiline strings, making code more readable and easy to maintain.

In shell scripting and command-line interfaces, backticks are employed to execute commands within commands, enabling flexible and dynamic control of software.

Ultimately, the relevance of the backtick comes from its versatile utility in enhancing code functionality and simplifying complex operations across various programming and scripting environments.


The backtick (`) is a versatile and useful tool in the realm of programming languages and scripting, offering a streamlined way to input commands or expressions. Its primary purpose is to provide the functionality of embedding and executing pieces of code within a given context, often making complex code more readable and efficient.

The backtick allows programmers to perform string interpolation and command substitution with greater ease, proving its worth in languages such as JavaScript, Python, PHP, and within shell scripting environments like Unix. In these settings, a programmer can accomplish much more with fewer lines of code, ultimately making the development process more time-efficient.

When it comes to practical applications, the backtick is used extensively for various purposes, depending on the specific programming language or environment. In JavaScript, for instance, the use of backticks enables template literals which allow for the seamless integration of variables or expressions within a block of text.

Similarly, in shell scripting environments, the backtick permits developers to efficiently execute commands and utilize their output in other commands. By utilizing this small yet powerful punctuation mark, programmers are better equipped to write robust and maintainable code in a range of different languages and environments.

Examples of Backtick

Backtick (`) is a character used in programming languages and technology-related tasks, such as executing shell commands or formatting code. As a helpful assistant, let me provide you with three real-world examples that utilize backticks:

JavaScript Template Literals:In JavaScript, backticks are used to create template literals, which allows the embedding of expressions within string literals. This makes it easier to concatenate variables and strings together. For example:“`javascriptlet name = “John”;let age = 30;let introduction = `My name is ${name} and I am ${age} years old.`;console.log(introduction); // Output: “My name is John and I am 30 years old.”“`

Shell Command Execution in Python:In Python, backticks can be used in a deprecated method of executing shell commands. Though not recommended for use in new code, it remains a part of the language for compatibility reasons. For instance:“`pythonimport osfile_list = `ls -l`print(file_list)“`

MySQL Column and Table Names:In MySQL, backticks are particularly helpful when working with reserved keywords or special characters in table or column names. By using backticks, the user signals to the database that it should interpret the text inside as a table or column name, even if it matches a reserved keyword. For instance:“`sqlCREATE TABLE `users` ( `id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT, `username` varchar(45) NOT NULL, `email` varchar(100) NOT NULL, PRIMARY KEY (`id`));“`These examples showcase how backticks are used in various technology contexts to manage strings, execute commands, or signal database management systems to treat text as a special entity.

Backtick FAQ

What are backticks and how are they used in programming?

Backticks (`) are a type of quotation mark used in some programming languages, such as JavaScript, to define template literals. Template literals allow for embedded expressions, multi-line strings, and variable interpolation in the code.

What is the difference between backticks, single quotes, and double quotes in JavaScript?

Backticks are used to define template literals, which have additional features compared to single and double quotes, like embedded expressions, multi-line strings, and variable interpolation. Single quotes(‘) and double quotes(“) are used for regular string declarations without any special features.

Can I use backticks in languages other than JavaScript?

Yes, backticks can be used in other programming languages, but their functions may vary. For example, in Python, backticks were an alternative to the repr() function in earlier versions. However, this has been removed in Python 3. In Bash scripting, backticks are used for command substitution. It is important to understand the specific context of each language in which backticks are used.

How do I create a multi-line string with backticks in JavaScript?

Creating a multi-line string with backticks is as simple as enclosing the text within backtick characters (`…`). To create a new line, just press “Enter” without needing to escape it or add any additional characters, like so:

`This is a

How do I embed an expression or variable inside a string using backticks?

When using backticks to define a template literal, you can embed expressions or variables inside the string by using the following syntax: `${expression}`. For example:

const name = 'John';
const age = 25;
const output = `My name is ${name} and I'm ${age} years old.`;
console.log(output); // Output: My name is John and I'm 25 years old.

Related Technology Terms

  • Escape Character
  • Command Substitution
  • Shell Scripting
  • Bash
  • Variable Expansion

Sources for More Information


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