noun \ˌsē-ˌdē-ˈräm\

: a small plastic disk on which large amounts of information (such as books, pictures, or computer programs) are stored in a form that cannot be changed

Full Definition of CD-ROM

:  a CD containing computer data that cannot be altered

Origin of CD-ROM

compact disc read-only memory
First Known Use: 1983

Other Computer-Related Terms

adware, flash, kludge, phishing, recursive, router


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Type of computer storage medium that is read optically (e.g., by a laser). A CD-ROM drive uses a low-power laser beam to read digitized (binary) data that have been encoded onto an optical disc in the form of tiny pits, then feeds the data to a computer for processing. Because it uses digital data, a CD-ROM can store images and sound in addition to text and is thus used in video and audio devices to store music, graphics, and movies (see compact disc). Unlike conventional magnetic-storage technologies (e.g., hard disks), CD-ROM drives cannot write information (that is, accept the input of new data), hence the tag “read-only.” Recordable compact discs (called CD-R) must be written on a CD-R recorder and can be played on any CD-ROM drive.

Variants of CD-ROM

CD-ROM in full compact disc read-only memory


Next Word in the Dictionary: CDS
Previous Word in the Dictionary: cdre
All Words Near: CD-ROM

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up CD-ROM? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).