[ sahy-ber ]
/ ˈsaɪ bər /
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(used alone as a substitute for many compound words that begin with the combining form cyber-, as cyberattack, cybersecurity, cyberterrorism, or cyberwarfare): GPS may be vulnerable to jamming and cyber.Ethical hackers are being recruited for careers in cyber.
of or relating to computers, typically to one of the technology domains named with the combining form cyber-, as cyberterrorism, cyberwarfare, or cyberattack: a cyber threat;several cyber breaches;cyber operations;cyber plots.
verb (used without object)
to engage in cybersex: People playing the MMO were cybering in voice chat, sometimes without even creating a separate channel to keep it private.
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Origin of cyber

First recorded in 1990–95; from cyber-

Other definitions for cyber (2 of 2)


Digital Technology.
a combining form meaning “computer,” “computer network,” or “virtual reality,” used in the formation of compound words (cybertalk; cyberart; cyberspace) and by extension meaning “expressing visions of the future” (cyberfashion).

Origin of cyber-

Extracted from cybernetics

historical usage of cyber-

See internet.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does cyber- mean?

Cyber– is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “computer” or “computer network.” In many instances, it is used to refer generally to the internet. It is often used in technical terms, especially in computer science.

Cyber– comes from a shortening of the term cybernetics, meaning “the study of communication and control in humans and mechanical systems.” Cybernetics ultimately comes from Greek kybernḗtēs, meaning “helmsman” or “steersman.” Learn more about cybernetics (and how it is related to the word govern) at our entry for the term.

Examples of cyber-

A word you may have encountered that features the form cyber– is cyberbully, “to bully online by sending or posting mean, hurtful, or intimidating messages.”

The first part of the word, cyber-, refers to the internet. The second part of the word, bully, means “habitually intimidate, abuse, or harass.” Cyberbully literally means “to abuse online.”

What are some words that use the combining form cyber-?

What are some other forms that cyber– may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

Given the meaning of the form cyber-, what is a cyberwar?

How to use cyber in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cyber


combining form
indicating computerscyberphobia

Word Origin for cyber-

C20: back formation from cybernetics
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 cyber


A prefix that means “computer” or “computer network,” as in cyberspace, the electronic medium in which online communication takes place.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.