abbreviation or noun

variants or less commonly cpu
plural CPUs also cpus
: the component of a computer system that performs the system's basic operations (such as processing data), that exchanges data with the system's memory or peripherals, and that manages the system's other components
The speed at which the central processing unit (CPU) runs, measured in megahertz, is a good indicator of a computer's power …Brad Hill
These [gaming] consoles require operating systems and CPUs that are different from desktop computers.finance.yahoo.com
often used before another noun
CPU speed/performance

called also central processing unit, processor

Examples of CPU in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Rubin platform will include new graphics processing units, or GPUs, a new central processing unit (CPU) called Vera, and advanced networking chips, Huang said. Britney Nguyen, Quartz, 7 June 2024 No Limits In practice, the utility of Loopy Pro is limited only by your imagination and the CPU power of your iPad. Pete Cottell, WIRED, 2 May 2024 Sony says these lower frequencies are rare and that unused power on the CPU side is sent to the GPU. Tom Warren, The Verge, 15 Apr. 2024 The benefits can be substantial, compared to running those workloads on a GPU or CPU. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 7 Feb. 2024 Plus, Meta has continued to roll out regular updates for its entry-level headset over the last year or so, boosting GPU speeds and CPU power, with the promise of more support to come. Quentyn Kennemer, The Verge, 13 Jan. 2024 While the company recently posted a better-than-expected set of Q3 results, with revenue expanding by 4% year-over-year to $5.8 billion, driven in part by strong sales of the Ryzen 7000 Series CPU, the company’s outlook for Q4 was weaker than expected due to weakness in the gaming sector. Trefis Team, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Image: Apple Image: Apple Apple compared its latest M3 CPU and GPU performance against a 12-core PC laptop, the $1,299 MSI Prestige 13Evo A13M-050US. Tom Warren, The Verge, 31 Oct. 2023 Its four processor cores moved from ARM’s Cortex-A72 to the newer Cortex-A76, and the CPU clock speed has increased from 1.8 to 2.4 gigahertz. IEEE Spectrum, 10 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'CPU.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


central processing unit

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of CPU was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near CPU

Cite this Entry

“CPU.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/CPU. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

often capitalized C&P&U
: the part of a computer that does most of the data processing

central processing unit

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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