cur·​sor ˈkər-sər How to pronounce cursor (audio)
: a movable item used to mark a position: such as
: a transparent slide with a line attached to a slide rule
: a visual cue (such as a flashing vertical line) on a video display that indicates position (as for data entry)

Examples of cursor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To pin, run your cursor over the email in your inbox and click the thumbtack icon, which will bold when clicked. Danielle Abril, Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2023 The cursor’s size and speed can be adjusted and gestures can be remapped in Touchpad Settings. Tom Warren, The Verge, 24 Oct. 2023 The solution is to do everything digitally, scribbling your signature with your finger, a stylus, or a mouse cursor, and pasting it on the PDF. David Nield, Popular Science, 16 Aug. 2023 Using the touchpad, move your cursor over the Battle. WIRED, 28 June 2023 Image: Wacom The Wacom One 12 and Wacom One 13 touch pen display tablets are equipped with 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch glass screens, respectively, which are specially bonded to reduce parallax (that gap between the stylus nib and the cursor). Jess Weatherbed, The Verge, 10 Aug. 2023 Moving the mouse cursor across the central divide between the windows switches control from one computer to the other. PCMAG, 3 Sep. 2023 The movement of the cursor matches the movement of the mouse. IEEE Spectrum, 2 July 2023 The user interface of the Macintosh includes pull-down menus, which appear only when the cursor is placed over the menu name and a button on the mouse is pressed. IEEE Spectrum, 2 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cursor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin cursor "runner, courier," from currere "to run" + -tor, agent suffix — more at current entry 1

Note: For cursor as agent noun of currere in place of expected *co(r)stor see note at course entry 1. As with other Latin deverbal derivatives, the zero grade ablaut of the past participle has been generalized with all suffixes ending in -t-.

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cursor was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near cursor

Cite this Entry

“Cursor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


cur·​sor ˈkər-sər How to pronounce cursor (audio)
: a mark (as a bright blinking spot) on a computer display screen that shows the place where the user is working

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