peripheral

adjective
pe·​riph·​er·​al | \ pə-ˈri-f(ə-)rəl \

Definition of peripheral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, involving, or forming a periphery or surface part
2a : of, relating to, affecting, or being part of the peripheral nervous system peripheral nerves peripheral neuritis
b : of, relating to, or being blood in the systemic circulation peripheral lymphocytes
3 : of, relating to, or being the outer part of the field of vision good peripheral vision
4 : auxiliary, supplementary peripheral equipment also : of or relating to computer peripherals

peripheral

noun

Definition of peripheral (Entry 2 of 2)

: a device connected to a computer to provide communication (such as input and output) or auxiliary functions (such as additional storage)

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Other Words from peripheral

Adjective

peripherally adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for peripheral

Synonyms: Adjective

accessorial, accessory, appurtenant, auxiliary, supplemental, supplementary

Antonyms: Adjective

chief, main, principal

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Did You Know?

Your peripheral vision is the outer area of your field of vision, where you can still detect movement and shapes. It can be very valuable when, for instance, you're driving into Chicago at rush hour, especially when switching lanes. When people call an issue in a discussion peripheral, they mean that it's not of primary importance, and they're probably suggesting that everyone get back to the main topic. Peripheral is now also a noun: computer peripherals are the added components—printers, webcams, microphones, etc.—that increase a computer's capacities.

Examples of peripheral in a Sentence

Adjective

If we focus too much on peripheral issues, we will lose sight of the goal. peripheral devices such as modems and scanners He saw in his peripheral vision that a car was trying to pass him.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Warming aromatics, including cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, are included to aid digestion and improve peripheral circulation during the cooler months (think cold hands and feet). Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Meet the Eckhaus Latta–Approved Herbalist With a Prescription for Balanced Skin and Less Stress," 4 Jan. 2019 Yet peripheral voters still are a substantial minority. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Macron’s Warning to America’s Ascendant Left," 6 Dec. 2018 The main screen was the same size, but the visuals extended down the walls and into the audience’s peripheral vision. Ruth Brown, Fox News, "Meet cinemas' latest effort to fend off Netflix," 14 Aug. 2018 Gaining peripheral vision inside virtual reality is extremely cool, as my colleague Nick Statt discovered. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Pimax opens preorders for its very expensive 8K and 5K VR headsets," 24 Oct. 2018 The strip of flexible material wraps around the back of the head and covers the side of the eyes, blocking up to 60 percent of a wearer’s peripheral vision, Panasonic says. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Panasonic designed human blinders to block out open-plan office distraction," 18 Oct. 2018 About 60 percent are due to diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and flesh-eating bacterial infections, according to Susan Gregg, the director of media relations for UW Medicine, which oversees Harborview. Christine Clarridge, The Seattle Times, "At Harborview, where 175 limb amputations are performed yearly, a support group offers help," 8 Oct. 2018 While scooter rides might be a bit peripheral to ride-sharing, customer-acquisition cost is not. Sunil Paul, Recode, "The Scooter Wars will be a bloodbath — and Uber will win," 12 July 2018 The cause was complications from peripheral arterial disease and renal failure, said a son, Corey Dade. Washington Post, "Paul Stack, Foreign Service officer," 16 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Razer HyperSense Razer wants to bring immersion to your peripherals too, using a technology sorely underutilized on PCs: haptic feedback. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "6 important CES 2019 reveals and trends that PC enthusiasts need to know about," 11 Jan. 2019 Pokémon Go addicts can elect to sync this new peripheral up to their smartphone to catch creatures without turning their phone on, as well. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Pokémon’s first Switch game launches in November, connects to Pokémon Go," 30 May 2018 Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller is a gadget for people with disabilities or limited mobility to more easily use third-party peripherals. Nick Statt, The Verge, "YouTuber gets Microsoft’s Adaptive Controller working on the Nintendo Switch," 26 Nov. 2018 The peripherals are standard household items that are embedded with invisible microphones and integrated together through software and a vast array of interconnecting services. Thomas Ricker, The Verge, "It’s Amazon’s home, and we’re just living in it," 21 Sep. 2018 On top of that, many new peripherals are still using the old connections. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: Picking the right Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C dock for your desk," 3 July 2018 That gives it the same precision as the Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse, Microsoft's other recent peripheral. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Classic Intellimouse updates 2003's iconic mouse for the modern era," 27 June 2018 Violet kept them in her peripherals. 2 Bo was hiding behind a powerjack, only meters from the fire door and the emergency exit sign glowing above it through the gloom. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A transgender girl rises up against alien invaders in Rich Larson’s novel Annex," 8 July 2018 Strong sales momentum has analysts forecasting double-digit earnings growth for firms in the semiconductor, internet software & services, technology hardware, storage & peripherals and IT services industries. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "With Stock Market in Lull, Investors Pin Hopes on Earnings Boom," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peripheral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of peripheral

Adjective

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1966, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for peripheral

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for peripheral

The first known use of peripheral was in 1808

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More Definitions for peripheral

peripheral

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of peripheral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not relating to the main or most important part

computers : connected to a computer but not an essential part of it

: of or relating to the area that is to the side of the area you are looking at

peripheral

noun

English Language Learners Definition of peripheral (Entry 2 of 2)

computers : a piece of equipment (such as a printer, speaker, etc.) that is connected to a computer but is not an essential part of it

peripheral

adjective
pe·​riph·​er·​al | \ pə-ˈrif-(ə-)rəl \

Medical Definition of peripheral

1 : of, relating to, involving, forming, or located near a periphery or surface part (as of the body)
2 : of, relating to, affecting, or being part of the peripheral nervous system peripheral nerves
3 : of, relating to, or being the outer part of the visual field good peripheral vision
4 : of, relating to, or being blood in the systemic circulation peripheral lymphocytes peripheral blood

Other Words from peripheral

peripherally \ -​ē \ adverb

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