: a CD containing computer data that cannot be altered
Origin of CD-ROM
First Known Use: 1983
Other Computer-Related Terms
CD-ROM 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: CDTPrevious Word in the Dictionary: cdreAll Words Near: CD-ROM
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