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See more synonyms for mainframe on Thesaurus.com
noun Computers.
  1. a large computer, often the hub of a system serving many users.
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Origin of mainframe

First recorded in 1960–65; main1 + frame
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mainframe


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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mainframe in Science


  1. A large, often powerful computer, usually dedicated to lengthy, complex calculations or set up for use by many people simultaneously. Compare personal computer.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

mainframe in Culture


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

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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.