parse tree

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    n. An intermediate form of code representation generated by a compiler. The first step in any compilation is to convert the raw text into a series of tokens—a process called lexical analysis. Once the individual tokens, such as variable names, keywords, and operators, are identified, they must be grouped into grammatically correct expressions in a process called parsing. The result of this syntactical analysis is called a parse tree. The information in a parse tree can be used for semantic analysis, which finds programming errors, and to identify potential optimizations.

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