the collection of software that directs a computer's operations, controlling and scheduling the execution of other programs, and managing storage, input/output, and communication resources. Abbreviation: OS
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Origin of operating system
First recorded in 1960–65
Words nearby operating system
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for operating system
the set of software that controls the overall operation of a computer system, typically by performing such tasks as memory allocation, job scheduling, and input/output control
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 operating system
[ ŏp′ə-rā′tĭng ]
Software designed to handle basic elements of computer operation, such as sending instructions to hardware devices like disk drives and computer screens, and allocating system resources such as memory to different software applications being run. Given uniformly designed operating systems that run on many different computers, developers of software do not need to concern themselves with these problems, and are provided with a standard platform for new programs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for operating system
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.