DEFINITION of 'Common Business Oriented Language - COBOL'
A type of language used in computer programming. Common Business Oriented Language was first introduced in the late '50s and early '60s for use in various types of business applications. COBOL resembles the English language much more closely than many other programming languages.
BREAKING DOWN 'Common Business Oriented Language - COBOL'
COBOL was developed in the late '50s, originating out of the Conference on Data Systems Languages. The language was developed by the private sector, in partnership with the U.S. government, to be both portable and readable. The language ceased to be widely used in the '90s; however, it can still be found on some legacy systems.