noun, often attributive
com·put·er | \kəm-ˈpyü-tər \

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 \ noun
computerless \kəm-ˈpyü-tər-ləs \ adjective
computerlike \kəm-ˈpyü-tər-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of computer in a Sentence

He works all day on a computer.

Recent Examples on the Web

Before the tour began, Chalk gave an overview of what we’d see — the kitchen, the library, the classrooms with computers. Otis R. Taylor Jr.,, "Richmond’s Mayor Butt meets ICE detainees," 12 July 2018 Researchers have, for several years, used video cameras and computers to analyse people’s gaits, and are now quite good at it. The Economist, "The way people walk can be used for ID and health checks," 12 July 2018 While younger people have grown up with computers and are used to them, older workers can be intimidated and most need one-on-one support, which Murphy's program can provide or direct them to. Robert Mccabe, The Christian Science Monitor, "AARP helps seniors find steady jobs," 9 July 2018 So perhaps this is simply a better system of flight computers or software upgrades. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Japanese rocket blows up, NASA chief ponders purpose of SLS," 6 July 2018 At a news conference in October 2017, State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said digital evidence taken from Urbanski’s phone and computer had led to the hate-crime charge delivered by a Prince George’s County grand jury. Childs Walker,, "Trial delayed for former UM student charged with hate crime in fatal stabbing of Bowie State student," 5 July 2018 In the 1990s, advances in fiber optics, lasers, and computers developed to the point where the Keck Observatory's twin 10-meter telescopes, separated by 85 meters atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii, could be made to work as an optical interferometer. Adam Mann, Science | AAAS, "Telescope array will spy on spy satellites, star surfaces and black holes," 3 July 2018 The Russians could follow the keystrokes and see the screens of the employees' computers. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Arizona servers used by Russian hackers to monitor Democrats, feds say," 13 July 2018 The hacker used the Shodan search engine, which can let users find specific types of computers around the globe, to find a weakness in the 432nd. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Air Force Drone Documents Are Being Sold on Dark Web," 11 July 2018

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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Statistics for computer

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for computer

The first known use of computer was in 1613

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More Definitions for computer



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 \

Kids Definition of computer

: an automatic electronic machine that can store and process data

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Comments on computer

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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