Black, Paul E. (2019-10-1). Pieterse, Vreda; Black, Paul E. (eds.). "dictionary". Dictionary of Algorithms and Data Structures. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved from: https://www.nist.gov/dads/HTML/dictionary.html
Associative arrays are based on a key and value pair. You use the key to look up the value.
An example use case is a symbol table, such as typing :+1: in your messages to get a thumbs up emoji or entering a key code combination into a vending machine to retrieving an item.
Hashing is the underlying technology that the machine uses to translate the key into physical memory locations under the hood.