[ sis-tuhm ]
/ ˈsɪs təm /


Nearby words

  1. sys-,
  2. sysop,
  3. syssarcosis,
  4. syst.,
  5. systaltic,
  6. system building,
  7. system operator,
  8. system program,
  9. systema,
  10. systematic

Origin of system

1610–20; < Late Latin systēma < Greek sýstēma whole compounded of several parts, equivalent to sy- sy- + stē- (variant stem of histánai to cause to stand; akin to Latin stāre to stand) + -ma noun suffix denoting result of action

Related formssys·tem·less, adjectivein·ter·sys·tem, adjectivesu·per·sys·tem, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for system

British Dictionary definitions for system


/ (ˈsɪstəm) /


Derived Formssystemless, adjective

Word Origin for system

C17: from French système, from Late Latin systēma, from Greek sustēma, from syn- + histanai to cause to stand

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 system



1610s, "the whole creation, the universe," from Late Latin systema "an arrangement, system," from Greek systema "organized whole, body," from syn- "together" (see syn-) + root of histanai "cause to stand" from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Meaning "set of correlated principles, facts, ideas, etc." first recorded 1630s. Meaning "animal body as an organized whole, sum of the vital processes in an organism" is recorded from 1680s; hence figurative phrase to get (something) out of one's system (1900). Computer sense of "group of related programs" is recorded from 1963. All systems go (1962) is from U.S. space program.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for system


[ sĭstəm ]


A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole.
An organism or body considered as a whole, especially with regard to its vital processes or functions.
A group of physiologically or anatomically complementary organs or parts.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for system


A group of bodily organs that have similar structures or work together to perform some function, such as the digestive system, nervous system, and respiratory 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.

Idioms and Phrases with system


see all systems go; out of one's system.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.