[ dong-guhl, dawng‐ ]

nounDigital Technology.
  1. a hardware device, paired with a licensed copy of a software program, that must be plugged into a computer to authorize every use of the software: an antipiracy dongle.

  2. a device that can be plugged into a hardware port on a computer, television, or other electronic device, to enable access when connecting devices to peripherals, to the internet, or to each other: a USB dongle for wireless internet access;an HDMI dongle with television apps;a display port dongle to connect the laptop to the projector.

Origin of dongle

First recorded in 1980–85; probably an arbitrary coinage

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

How to use dongle in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dongle


/ (ˈdɒŋɡəl) /

  1. computing an electronic device that accompanies a software item to prevent the unauthorized copying of programs

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