A programming language such as C, FORTRAN, or Pascal that enables a programmer to write programs that are more or less independent of a particular type of computer. Such languages are considered high-level because they are closer to human languages and further from machine languages. In contrast, assembly languages are considered low-level because they are very close to machine languages.
The main advantage of high-level languages over low-level languages is that they are easier to read, write, and maintain. Ultimately, programs written in a high-level language must be translated into machine language by a compiler or interpreter.
The first high-level programming languages were designed in the 1950s. Now there are dozens of different languages, including Ada, Algol, BASIC, COBOL, C, C++, FORTRAN, LISP, Pascal, and Prolog.