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[meyn-freym] /ˈmeɪnˌfreɪm/
noun, Computers.
a large computer, often the hub of a system serving many users.
Origin of mainframe
First recorded in 1960-65; main1 + frame Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mainframe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Since the poem was written, the darker side of personal and mainframe computers has given the poem a more sinister meaning.

    The Little Daisy Girl and other poems Jacquelyn Hedge-Cheney
British Dictionary definitions for mainframe


  1. a high-speed general-purpose computer, usually with a large storage capacity
  2. (as modifier): mainframe systems
the central processing unit of a computer
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
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Word Origin and History for mainframe

"central processor of a computer system," 1964, from main (adj.) + frame (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mainframe in Science
A large, often powerful computer, usually dedicated to lengthy, complex calculations or set up for use by many people simultaneously. Compare personal computer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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mainframe in Culture

mainframe definition

A large, powerful computer system. A mainframe computer typically carries out complex calculations and is shared by many users. (Compare personal computer.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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