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 Adam Wathan makes a living selling computer programming courses. Klint Finley, Wired, "He Wanted a Unicorn. He Got ... a Sustainable Business," 19 Jan. 2020 Such universal computers are now called Turing machines and are the basis for all smartphones, laptops, and the Internet. Paul Grimstad, The New Yorker, "Living in Alan Turing’s Future," 19 Jan. 2020 Natalie accidently found evidence on Chacey's computer that her stepmother was cheating. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, "Chacey Poynter, convicted in husband's murder says, "He wasn't supposed to die"," 18 Jan. 2020 Khandaghabadi sits on a computer chair in her living room, in a one-bedroom apartment a few blocks north of the Victory Warehouse. San Francisco Chronicle, "Wrestler Drugz Bunny prepares to enter the ring during a Hoodslam event at Oakland Metro Operahouse in Oakland.," 18 Jan. 2020 The most efficient way to feed solar panels is with direct, full sunlight, which isn’t typically the environment in which someone wants to use a tablet or computer. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Does Microsoft Want to Put Solar Panels on the Surface Pro?," 17 Jan. 2020 In Illinois, the law prohibits operating a motor vehicle on a roadway while using cellphones or computers. Kellie Hwang, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what a ban on cellphones while driving could look like in Indiana," 17 Jan. 2020 Therefore, the majority of cyberloafing research focuses on ways to deter employees from engaging in this behavior through interventions such as internet monitoring and computer use policies. Stephanie Andel, The Conversation, "Why bosses should let employees surf the web at work," 17 Jan. 2020 The Virtual Boutique Fashion has flirted with virtual games before—for example, Moschino collaborated with the makers of the Sims computer game—but now, other players want a slice of the gaming industry’s estimated $152.1 billion pie. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, "8 Predictions for the Future of Fashion," 17 Jan. 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

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Computer.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 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

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).


dull or mediocre

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