Naziv potiče od reči Formula Translejšn (prevodilac formula). Fortran je bio jedan od prvih programskih jezika koji je omogućio programerima da normalno pišu matematičke formule.
Fortran je bio jedan od prvih jezika višeg nivoa koji je mogao da radi na različitim vrstama računara uz male ili nikakve izmene. Dok se nije pojavio Fortran, programeri su morali da koriste asemblerske jezike.
Or Fortran. Short for formula translation. The first high-level computer language (developed over the period 1954–58 by John Backus) and the progenitor of many key high-level concepts, such as variables, expressions, statements, iterative and conditional statements, separately compiled subroutines, and formatted input/output. FORTRAN is a compiled, structured language. The name indicates its roots in science and engineering, where it is still used heavily, although the language itself has been expanded and improved vastly over the last 35 years to become a language that is useful in any field. See also compiled language, structured programming.
FORmula TRANslation; high-level programing language for mathematical and scientific purposes.
(acronym for formula translation) High-level computer-programming language suited to mathematical and scientific computations. Developed 1956, it is one of the earliest computer languages still in use. A recent version, Fortran 90, is now being used on advanced parallel computers. BASIC was strongly influenced by FORTRAN and is similar in many ways.