An entity is something that exists in itself, actually or hypothetically. It need not be of material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate.
Sometimes, the word entity is used in a general sense of a being, whether or not the referent has material existence, e.g., is often referred to as an entity with no corporeal form (non-physical entity), such as a language. It is also often used to refer to ghosts and other spirits.
The word entitative is the adjective form of the noun entity. Something that is entitative is "considered as pure entity; abstracted from all circumstances", that is, regarded as entity alone, apart from attendant circumstances.
- A DBMS entity is either a thing in the modeled world or a drawing element in an ERD.
- In SUMO, Entity is the root node and stands for the universal class of individuals.
- In VHDL, entity is the keyword for defining a new object.
- An SGML entity is an abbreviation for some expanded piece of SGML text.
- An open systems architecture entity is an active routine within a layer.
- In computer games and game engines, entity is a dynamic object such as a non-player character or item.
- In HTML, entity is a code snippet (e.g., "®" for "Registered Trademark") which is interpreted by web browsers to display special characters. See List of XML and HTML character entity references.
- In law, a legal entity is an entity that is capable of bearing legal rights and obligations, such as a natural person or an artificial person (e.g. business entity or a corporate entity).
- In politics, entity is used as term for territorial divisions of some countries (e.g. Bosnia and Herzegovina)
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- Digital identity
- Entity class
- Entity realism, a form of scientific realism
- Object (philosophy)
- Ontology, the study of being, existence and entities
- Attendant circumstance: facts surrounding an event