[ proh-gruh-mat-ik-lee ]
/ ˌproʊ grəˈmæt ɪk li /


by using a computer program: You can set the value in each field programmatically with a simple algorithm.The background shapes can be programmatically drawn and animated.



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Origin of programmatically

1905–10, for an earlier sense; 1970–75; programmatic + -ly (def. 1) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does programmatically mean?

Programmatically means done using a computer program.

In computing, a program is a sequence of instructions (called code) that enable a computer to perform a task. Programmatically is used to refer to tasks that can be done in an automated way (using such programs), especially as opposed to tasks that have to be done manually (by a person).

Example: Instead of reading every cell in the spreadsheet to look for duplicates, you can filter them out programmatically.

Where does programmatically come from?

The word programmatically is first recorded in English around the early 1900s, but it didn’t come to be used in its modern sense until much later (obviously), after the advent of computers. But today, it’s used almost exclusively to refer to tasks completed with software.

Performing tasks programmatically is really the whole point of computers. Instead of having to solve long, complex equations, computers were invented to crunch the numbers programmatically: instructions (the code) are programmed into the computer, specific data is put in, and then, bleep bloop, the computer does the work.

You’re most likely to hear the word being used to discuss how something can be automated, or at least simplified, so that humans don’t have to do as much work—like in the example of the spreadsheet above. But the scale and potential applications of things that can be done programmatically are limitless.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of programmatically?

What are some synonyms for programmatically?

What are some words that share a root or word element with programmatically?


What are some words that often get used in discussing programmatically?

How is programmatically used in real life?

Programmatically is primarily used to talk about having software do the work so we don’t have to.

Try using programmatically!

Which of the following words is an antonym (opposite) of programmatically?

A. algorithmically
B. automatedly
C. methodically
D. manually