EntityThis article is about the concept of an entity. For other uses, see Entity (disambiguation).
An entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence, though it need not be a 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. Entities are used in system developmental models that display communications and internal processing of, say, documents compared to order processing.
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, such as a language. It is also often used to refer to ghosts and other spirits. Taken further, entity sometimes refers to existence or being itself. For example, the former U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan once said that "the policy of the government of the United States is to seek . . . to preserve Chinese territorial and administrative entity."
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.
In law, an entity is something capable of bearing legal rights and obligations. It generally means "legal entity" (such as a business entity or a corporate entity) or "artificial person" but also includes "natural person".
- A DBMS entity is either a thing in the modelled world or a drawing element in an ERD.
- A 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.
- Zionist entity is a pejorative term for Israel
- 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 snipet (ie: "®" for "Registered Trademark") which is interpreted by web browsers to display an ASCII character.
- Ontology, the study of being, existence and entities
- Entity realism, a form of scientific realism.
- Boltzmann brain, a hypothesized self-aware entity.