noun, often attributive
com·​put·​er | \ kəm-ˈpyü-tər How to pronounce computer (audio) \

Definition of computer

: one that computes specifically : a programmable usually electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data using a computer to design 3-D models

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Other Words from computer

computerdom \ kəm-​ˈpyü-​tər-​dəm How to pronounce computerdom (audio) \ noun
computerless \ kəm-​ˈpyü-​tər-​ləs How to pronounce computerless (audio) \ adjective
computerlike \ kəm-​ˈpyü-​tər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce computerlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of computer in a Sentence

He works all day on a computer.
Recent Examples on the Web Wayne would travel from Missouri to Florida to work on the computers in Dr. Sievers' office. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "Did a Florida man hire a look-alike to kill his wife?," 15 Feb. 2020 Saavy tech users who enjoy using beautiful landscapes as their phone and computer screen backgrounds and screensavers will appreciate the update. USA TODAY, "Google makes 1,000 new high-res satellite images available in Earth View," 14 Feb. 2020 Even on the Los Alamos supercomputer, a single run of a complicated model can take days or even weeks — not counting the weeks of work modelers spend writing equations to feed the computer. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Disease modelers gaze into their computers to see the future of Covid-19, and it isn’t good," 14 Feb. 2020 Five years later, his Owl Rock Capital Partners invests about $16.5 billion from a Park Avenue office full of fleece-vested analysts poring over spreadsheets on oversize computer screens. Matt Wirz, WSJ, "Behind the Rise of Owl Rock: Low Fees," 13 Feb. 2020 This year’s team is a much more harmonious hoops outfit, on and off the court, reflected from the levity in the locker room, to the chemistry on the court, to the advanced metrics on the computer screen. Globe Staff,, "Celtics again defying expectations this season, but this time in a good way," 13 Feb. 2020 All that's needed is surveillance equipment pointed at a computer screen infected with malware. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "How to Steal Data from Someone's Computer by Manipulating Screen Brightness," 9 Feb. 2020 Frustrated, those news organizations unleashed their rage onto front pages, televisions, computer screens, social media, and, yes, apps. Pete Gelling, Quartz, "The US just failed its first 2020 presidential election test," 4 Feb. 2020 The political website Axios reported that the reason for the error was that an interviewer increased the font size of the questionnaire on a computer screen, leaving the bottom choice invisible. Ben Collins, NBC News, "Conspiracy theories swirl over canceled Iowa poll, pushed by Sanders and Yang supporters," 3 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'computer.' 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 computer

1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for computer

see compute

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Time Traveler for computer

Time Traveler

The first known use of computer was in 1613

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Statistics for computer

Last Updated

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Computer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for computer


How to pronounce computer (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of computer

: an electronic machine that can store and work with large amounts of information


com·​put·​er | \ kəm-ˈpyü-tər How to pronounce computer (audio) \

Kids Definition of computer

: an automatic electronic machine that can store and process data

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More from Merriam-Webster on computer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with computer

Spanish Central: Translation of computer

Nglish: Translation of computer for Spanish Speakers

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

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