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peripheral

[ puh-rif-er-uhl ]
/ pəˈrɪf ər əl /
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See synonyms for: peripheral / peripherals on Thesaurus.com

adjective Also peripheric (for defs. 1-3).
relating to, situated in, or constituting the periphery: peripheral resistance on the outskirts of the battle area.
concerned with relatively minor, irrelevant, or superficial aspects of the subject in question.
Anatomy. near the surface or outside of; external.
Computers. relating to a device or unit that is separate from but connected to a computer, network host, etc.
noun
Computers.
  1. a device or unit that operates separately from the CPU but is connected to it, such as a mouse, printer, speakers, etc.
  2. a device or unit that is separate from a network’s host computer but in communication with it, such as a shared input terminal, printer, or backup drive.
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Origin of peripheral

First recorded in 1800–10; 1965–70 for def. 4; from Greek peripher(ḗs) (see periphery) + -al1

OTHER WORDS FROM peripheral

pe·riph·er·al·ly, adverbun·pe·riph·er·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use peripheral in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for peripheral

peripheral
/ (pəˈrɪfərəl) /

adjective
not relating to the most important part of something; incidental, minor, or superficial
of, relating to, or of the nature of a periphery
anatomy of, relating to, or situated near the surface of the bodya peripheral nerve

Derived forms of peripheral

peripherally, adverb
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 peripheral

peripheral
[ pə-rĭfər-əl ]

Adjective
Anatomy Relating to or being the surface or outer part of a body or organ.
Relating to or being part of the peripheral nervous system.
Noun
Computer Science An auxiliary device, such as a printer or modem, distinct from a computer's central processing unit and working memory, and often connected externally.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for peripheral

peripheral

Any part that is separate from a computer's CPU, such as a printer, a keyboard, or a monitor.

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.
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