noun \ˌem-(ˌ)pē-ˈthrē\

: a computer format for creating sound files (such as songs) that are much smaller than standard sound files

: a computer file (such as a song) in the MP3 format

Full Definition of MP3

:  a computer file format for the compression and storage of digital audio data
:  a computer file (as of a song) in the MP3 format

Examples of MP3

  1. downloading MP3s off the Internet

Origin of MP3

from the file extension .mp3 used for such files, short for MPEG Audio Layer 3
First Known Use: 1996


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Standard technology and format for the compression of audio signals into very small computer files. For example, sound data from a compact disc (CD) can be compressed to one-twelfth the original size without sacrificing sound quality. Because of small file size and ease of production from CD sources, the MP3 format is very popular for transmitting music files over the Internet. Although recording companies have sued many Web sites for facilitating the exchange of such copyrighted material, many now provide sample songs in MP3 format to promote CD sales, and some musicians bypass recording companies and issue their songs over the Internet in MP3 format only. See also data compression.

Variants of MP3

MP3 abbreviation of MPEG-1, audio layer 3


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