da·​ta·​base | \ˈdā-tə-ˌbās, ˈda- also ˈdä-\

Definition of database 


: a usually large collection of data organized especially for rapid search and retrieval (as by a computer) an online database

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Other Words from database

database transitive verb

Examples of database in a Sentence

All of our customers' information was kept in a database.

Recent Examples on the Web

Zhang's role allowed him to move between a variety of teams and confidential databases, Proudfoot claims. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Ex-Apple Employee Charged With Stealing Self-Driving Tech," 11 July 2018 One requires by 2020 the state to maintain a database tracking payments to health care providers for patient treatments and procedures. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Doctors, nurses, insurance companies spending big to influence California's health care future," 6 July 2018 Apple’s filings in the Eurasian database cover five new iPads and five Macs. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Apple registers new iPads and MacBooks in Eurasia," 5 July 2018 Photographer Drew Callaghan, based in Queen Village, noted that many photos survive in online databases after sales close and serve appraisers, insurance firms and developers in their research. Cassie Owens,, "How this real estate photographer makes homes look listing-ready," 30 May 2018 When a person is arrested in California, fingerprints are compared with prints in federal databases that alert immigration authorities if the person is wanted. Hamed Aleaziz, San Francisco Chronicle, "Sanctuary split: While SF jail snubs ICE, Marin County does the opposite," 24 May 2018 More than 130 million American adults are in facial recognition databases that can be searched in criminal investigations, the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law estimates. Nick Wingfield, New York Times, "Amazon Pushes Facial Recognition to Police. Critics See Surveillance Risk.," 22 May 2018 There may be additional school shootings with injuries that did not make it into the newspaper or digital publications, and therefore aren't counted in databases that rely on media reports. Chip Grabow And Lisa Rose, CNN, "The US has had 57 times as many school shootings as the other major industrialized nations combined," 21 May 2018 Some salaries, like that of Florida’s chief inspector general Eric W. Miller, were not included in online databases. Matt Stout,, "One of the state’s highest-paid officials is poised to get another raise," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'database.' 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 database

circa 1962, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near database



data bank




data mining

Statistics for database

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for database

The first known use of database was circa 1962

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More Definitions for database



English Language Learners Definition of database

: a collection of pieces of information that is organized and used on a computer


da·​ta·​base | \ˈdā-tə-ˌbās, ˈda-\

Kids Definition of database

: a collection of data that is organized especially to be used by a computer

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Comments on database

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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