View synonyms for peripheral


[ puh-rif-er-uhl ]


  1. relating to, situated in, or constituting the periphery:

    peripheral resistance on the outskirts of the battle area.

  2. concerned with relatively minor, irrelevant, or superficial aspects of the subject in question.
  3. Anatomy. near the surface or outside of; external.
  4. Computers. relating to a device or unit that is separate from but connected to a computer, network host, etc.


  1. 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.


/ pəˈrɪfərəl /


  1. not relating to the most important part of something; incidental, minor, or superficial
  2. of, relating to, or of the nature of a periphery
  3. anatomy of, relating to, or situated near the surface of the body

    a peripheral nerve


/ pə-rĭfər-əl /


  1. Anatomy.
    Relating to or being the surface or outer part of a body or organ.
  2. Relating to or being part of the peripheral nervous system.


  1. 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.


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

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Derived Forms

  • peˈripherally, adverb

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Other Words From

  • pe·riph·er·al·ly adverb
  • un·pe·riph·er·al adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of peripheral1

First recorded in 1800–10; 1965–70 peripheral fordef 4; from Greek peripher(ḗs) ( periphery ( def ) ) + -al 1( def )

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Example Sentences

Circe is a peripheral character in many myths, including the story of the Minotaur and the tragedy of Medea.

This small, handy device allows you to plug additional peripherals into your TV, while also providing a quick, easy way to switch between gaming consoles, media players, and internet streaming devices.

If your set-up doesn’t have many peripherals and you only want to add one or two ports to your TV, many budget-priced devices work well.

Cylindrical tend to be cheaper in price, but does not allow for the best peripheral vision.

Shadow lets you install games from whatever services you already use, including Steam, and works with your peripherals, like controllers.

From Time

The play of Sunday, the play of being angels in the choir, is not just a peripheral secondary marginal realm of activity.

Because his new novel, The Peripheral, is his most dire yet.

Then I saw something in my peripheral vision, close to my back.

Every few weeks I get so far behind on sleep that I lose my peripheral vision.

They were a small and peripheral player, and now they want to be a main player—if not the main player.

When well stained, a delicate hyaline peripheral zone can be distinguished.

Quinin causes them rapidly to disappear from the peripheral blood, and few or none may be found after its administration.

In general, the central parts of continents are likely to receive much less rainfall than their peripheral portions.

Nearly all central impulses, we now know, arise because of the peripheral ones.

The last-named bowl, which has a greater peripheral speed than the others, is hollow and can be heated either by steam or gas.


Related Words




peripeteiaperipheral device