Define: Bar Chart

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Bar Chart



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Full Definition of Bar Chart


A bar chart, also known as a bar graph, is a diagram consisting of rectangular bars. The length of each bar in a bar chart is proportional to the numerical value it represents. The bars in a bar chart may be positioned vertically or horizontally. When a bar chart has vertical bars, it is also called a column chart. Regardless of whether the bars are horizontal or vertical in position, they are always parallel to each other. A bar chart is a graphical tool mainly used to display discrete data and illustrate relative values in a particular data set. A bar chart is especially useful for spotting a trend or a pattern in a given set of data. For example, a bar chart can be used to plot the gross domestic product of a country over a particular time frame. The vertical axis (y-axis) on the bar chart would illustrate the value of GDP while the horizontal axis (x-axis) on the bar chart would indicate the date. The tallest bar in this example bar chart would tell you on which date the country achieve its greatest GDP.


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Definition Sources


Definitions for Bar Chart are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • BusinessDictionary.com
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 4th February 2020.