[ muhl-tee-task, -tahsk, muhl-tahy- ]
/ ˈmʌl tiˌtæsk, -ˌtɑsk, ˈmʌl taɪ- /

verb (used without object)

Computers. (of a single CPU) to execute two or more jobs concurrently.
(of one person) to perform two or more tasks simultaneously.

Origin of multitask

First recorded in 1960–65; multi-+ task
Related formsmul·ti·task·er, nounmul·ti·task·ing, mul·ti-task·ing, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for multitasking

British Dictionary definitions for multitasking (1 of 2)


/ (ˈmʌltɪˌtɑːskɪŋ) /


computing the execution of various diverse tasks simultaneously
the carrying out of two or more tasks at the same time by one person

British Dictionary definitions for multitasking (2 of 2)


/ (ˈmʌltɪˌtɑːsk) /

verb (intr)

to work at several different tasks simultaneously
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 multitasking



also multi-tasking, 1966, originally in computing, from multi- + tasking (see task). Of humans, by 1998. Related: Multitask (v.). As an adjective, multi-task is recorded from 1954 in a non-computer mechanical context.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for multitasking


[ mŭl′tē-tăskĭng ]

The concurrent operation by one central processing unit of two or more processes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.