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

They’re practiced by many legitimate researchers and computer system testers. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "YouTube’s ‘instructional hacking’ ban threatens computer security teachers," 3 July 2019 The contract manufacturer of circuit boards and computer systems for companies in many industries has more than 100 plants in 29 countries. Fortune, "Jabil," 1 July 2019 The department vowed to rectify that with a new computer system by this fall. Globe Staff,, "Why does it take DCF so long to release information on child deaths?," 28 June 2019 The aircraft, which was involved in two recent deadly crashes and has since been grounded around the world, received an updated computer system. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow futures are sliding and Boeing is to blame," 27 June 2019 Michigan's child-welfare agency will gradually dump a multimillion-dollar computer system that went online just five years ago. Ed White, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan to pull plug on child-welfare computer system after 5 years of problems," 27 June 2019 And then there are places that decide to pay, such as the Florida town that decided to fork over a whopping $600,000 to the bad guys this month, desperate to deparalyze its computer systems and restore essential services to its residents. The Washington Post, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Don’t give hackers what they want," 27 June 2019 For the second time in a week a Florida city has decided to pay a ransom to hackers to regain control over municipal computer systems. CBS News, "2nd Florida city in just a week to pay hackers big ransom for seized computer systems," 26 June 2019 On Thursday, Mozilla issued a second patch fixing a privilege-escalation flaw that allowed code to break out of a security sandbox that Firefox uses to prevent untrusted content from interacting with sensitive parts of a computer operating system. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Potent Firefox 0-day used to install undetected backdoors on Macs," 20 June 2019

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

9 Jul 2019

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 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

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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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