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

Sometimes the girls code computer graphics that complement the dance and are projected onto the stage; other times, the students wear costumes with programmable lights that flash or change color depending on the wearer's movements. Shay Maunz, Glamour, "STEM From Dance Is Using Dance to Turn Teen Girls Into Coders," 7 Dec. 2018 The Star Wars Galactic Empire DSA keycap set features a color scheme that wouldn’t be out of place at a computer terminal in the Death Star. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Officially licensed Star Wars keycaps are here, and they cost $250," 6 Dec. 2018 Qualcomm executives made the argument that the new enhancements to the Adreno GPU, together with the improvements in the Spectra DSP, would make video viewing more preferable on a smartphone than a laptop or computer monitor. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Watch the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855's best new features in action," 6 Dec. 2018 Everyone’s favorite mini computer is still an affordable gateway to a world of weird side projects and hacked-together DIY gadgets. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the power user in your life," 4 Dec. 2018 Russia must provide computer data from the lab before Dec. 31 or risk having its national anti-doping agency suspended again, two months after its controversial reinstatement. James Ellingworth, The Seattle Times, "WADA visits Moscow lab seeking key doping data," 28 Nov. 2018 Bredesen crunched all these results with a computer algorithm that calculated a complex 36-point personalized therapeutic program to counteract Weinrich’s specific constellation of deficits. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 But during its descent, the lander’s onboard computer received bad data from the spacecraft’s instruments, which caused the vehicle to release its parachute earlier than planned. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA’s InSight lander has just six and a half minutes to land on Mars in one piece," 21 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, the Retina-less Macbook Air was settling into its spot as Apple’s best computer for average people, thanks to its mix of portability, power, and a modest price. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Apple's New Macs Are the Ones You've Been Waiting on For Years," 30 Oct. 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

10 Dec 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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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

Comments on computer

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a nest or breeding place

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