- small or compact enough to fit or be used on a desk: a desktop calendar.
- the surface of a desk.
- Also called desktop computer.a computer that is not portable, often consisting of a CPU, monitor, keyboard, and mouse.Compare laptop.
- the primary display screen of a graphical user interface, on which various icons represent files, groups of files, programs, or the like, which can be moved, accessed, added to, put away, or thrown away in ways analogous to the handling of file folders, documents, notes, etc., on a real desk.
Origin of desktop
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for desktop
You can download the Kindle App for free on your desktop or laptop computer, smart phone or tablet.The Stacks: The Day ‘The Big Lebowski’ Came to Life
July 26, 2014
They feature custom wallpaper, system sounds, and desktop icons for My Computer, Recycle Bin, and Network Neighborhood.Homestar Runner, Trogdor the Burninator, and the Birth of the Internet
April 22, 2014
I like to see my desktop covered with face-up yellow pages drying like paintings in the sun.Allan Gurganus: How I Write
October 16, 2013
Up comes a little box on the desktop from gogoinflight inviting me to follow them out into the cyber universe.Errors in the Field
April 24, 2013
Especially since the tech boom, which has brought a wealth of new tools to even the amateur investor's desktop.Just How Wise is the Sage of Omaha?
December 6, 2012
Suddenly he gasped, and jabbed one of the many buttons that patterned his desktop.A Knyght Ther Was
Robert F. Young
The three microcards and the order itself appeared simultaneously on the desktop viewer of the Star Watch personnel officer.The Dueling Machine
Benjamin William Bova
The beneficiary rose to his feet, seeming not to see the hand the old Judge had extended across the desktop toward him.From Place to Place
Irvin S. Cobb
He crested the desktop and joined his brother in ferrying out more parts.Makers
Plug them in and they show up on your desktop like a little hard drive.Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
- the main screen display on a personal computer, from which windows may be opened and programs run
- (modifier) denoting a computer system, esp for word processing, that is small enough to use at a desk
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for desktop
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper