[ kuhm-pyoo-ter ]
See synonyms for: computercomputers on

  1. a programmable electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations. Mainframes, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones are some of the different types of computers.: Compare analog computer, digital computer.

  2. a computer program or algorithm: A computer can write a pop tune, but there's no guarantee it will be a hit.

  1. a person who computes; computist.

Origin of computer

First recorded in 1640–50; compute + -er1; compare Middle French computeur

Other words from computer

  • com·put·er·like, adjective
  • non·com·put·er, adjective

Words Nearby computer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use computer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for computer


/ (kəmˈpjuːtə) /

    • a device, usually electronic, that processes data according to a set of instructions. The digital computer stores data in discrete units and performs arithmetical and logical operations at very high speed. The analog computer has no memory and is slower than the digital computer but has a continuous rather than a discrete input. The hybrid computer combines some of the advantages of digital and analog computers: See also digital computer, analog computer, hybrid computer

    • (as modifier): computer technology Related prefix: cyber-

  1. a person who computes or calculates

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

Scientific definitions for computer


[ kəm-pyōōtər ]

  1. A programmable machine that performs high-speed processing of numbers, as well as of text, graphics, symbols, and sound. All computers contain a central processing unit that interprets and executes instructions; input devices, such as a keyboard and a mouse, through which data and commands enter the computer; memory that enables the computer to store programs and data; and output devices, such as printers and display screens, that show the results after the computer has processed data.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for computer


An electronic device that stores and manipulates information. Unlike a calculator, it is able to store a program and retrieve information from its memory. Most computers today are digital, which means they perform operations with quantities represented electronically as digits.

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