A code word is the connection of several code elements
. The agreed number of code elements can be arbitrarily large. An m-digit code word therefore consists of m code elements. Depending on the number of discrete stages or states of the code element, an m-digit code word can form (n expm) combinations. Code words can consist of a sequence of characters and symbols and must adhere to the specific rules of the code. Codewords are used in communication, error detection and error correction codes, among others. One of the best known code words is the SOS known from the international telegraph alphabet
. A code word can also be an encrypted word used to transmit sensitive data.