com·​pil·​er | \ kəm-ˈpī-lər How to pronounce compiler (audio) \

Definition of compiler

1 : one that compiles
2 : a computer program that translates an entire set of instructions written in a higher-level symbolic language (such as C) into machine language before the instructions can be executed

Examples of compiler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Frances Allen, a computer scientist who became a pioneer in the world of computing for her work on compiler research, has died at 88. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for August 10: Coronavirus, stimulus, Beirut, election 2020, Belarus," 10 Aug. 2020 In the 1970s and ’80s, thanks largely to her own efforts, women accounted for half of the experimental compiler group inside IBM. Cade Metz, New York Times, "Frances Allen, Who Helped Hardware Understand Software, Dies at 88," 8 Aug. 2020 Because of its compiler program, FORTRAN enabled a manner of communication with the computer that was closer to human understanding. Glenn Rifkin, Washington Post, "Frances Allen, first woman to win Turing Award for contributions to computing, dies at 88," 6 Aug. 2020 Aly is an earnest, tireless compiler of the often arcane or overlooked, yet there is something raw, never quite finished, if always usefully suggestive, in his approach. Steven J. Zipperstein, New York Times, "What Were the Origins of the Holocaust?," 7 Apr. 2020 Nim is a higher-level language that offers easy compilation into standard C code; the C code is then run through the GCC compiler to produce an executable binary. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Windows Subsystem for Linux is making inroads with developers," 19 Mar. 2020 With compilers that can take advantage of the new instruction set, Intel has been telling us that AI workloads can easily double their throughput. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "Intel Core i9-10980XE—a step forward for AI, a step back for everything else," 26 Nov. 2019 The Cerebras compiler is turning machines that were the province of teams of scientists into something a grad student could program. Fortune, "Startup Cerebras Unveils a Speedy—and Small—Supercomputer," 19 Nov. 2019 Index compilers FTSE Russell and MSCI Inc. are set to include Saudi Arabia’s stock market—the biggest in the Arab world—in their emerging-market baskets, a move that will result in billions of dollars in investments from international... Rory Jones, WSJ, "Saudi Stocks Soar Ahead of Reclassification," 5 Feb. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of compiler

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about compiler

Time Traveler for compiler

Time Traveler

The first known use of compiler was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for compiler

Last Updated

13 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Compiler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on compiler

Britannica English: Translation of compiler for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about compiler

Comments on compiler

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!