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This doesn’t answer the question definitively, but the earliest use of it I can find is from John Peck, recalling a meeting about the Algol standard in Warsaw in 1966: “What I can remember of that meeting was the insistence of John McCarthy, that any new language should have what he called overloading of operators. This would eventually became the operation ...


Let's see if someone has a definitive answer to this. In the mean time, I would assume that it comes from compiler jargon: as a compiler compiles your code, it builds a symbol table. Traditionally, the symbol table had one entry per symbol. Polymorphism required a completely new thing from compilers: to be able to hold more than one entry per symbol. So, ...

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