in·​ter·​face | \ ˈin-tər-ˌfās How to pronounce interface (audio) \

Definition of interface

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the place at which independent and often unrelated systems meet and act on or communicate with each other the man-machine interface
b : the means by which interaction or communication is achieved at an interface
2 : a surface forming a common boundary of two bodies, spaces, or phases an oil-water interface


interfaced; interfacing; interfaces

Definition of interface (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to connect by means of an interface interface a machine with a computer
2 : to serve as an interface for

intransitive verb

1 : to become interfaced
2 : to interact or coordinate harmoniously

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Other Words from interface


interfacial \ ˌin-​tər-​ˈfā-​shəl How to pronounce interface (audio) \ adjective

Examples of interface in a Sentence

Noun the interface between engineering and science The software has a user interface that's easy to operate. We installed an interface between the computer and the typesetting machine. Verb interface a machine with a computer the point at which the two machines interface
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rocket Lake S brings, such as the widening of the DMI interface. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Video: Intel answers our Rocket Lake S questions," 15 Jan. 2021 To my mind, an API is a description of an interface. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "2020’s 20 most-commented stories," 25 Dec. 2020 Robinhood distinguished itself from the online-brokerage pack by offering commission-free trading, as well as a video-game-like interface that encouraged transactions. Chase Difeliciantonio, San Francisco Chronicle, "Addictive technology, pandemic isolation helped drive GameStop stock surge," 28 Jan. 2021 The interface is really intuitive and simple to navigate. Ellen Mcalpine, CNN Underscored, "Memrise is a language learning app that rises above the rest," 30 Dec. 2020 The user interface is complicated and messy, largely due to the sheer volume of stuff being forced to coexist in the same place. Washington Post, "Call of Duty’s merged world has everything a player could want. Except logic.," 18 Dec. 2020 The interface is nice and friendly, though a bit cluttered. Sandra Gutierrez G., Popular Science, "The best Secret Santa websites, ranked," 14 Dec. 2020 The interface isn't as sleek as Google's, and the search can't be compared. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Google Photos to drop free unlimited storage on images and videos. Here are your other options.," 12 Nov. 2020 The web interface is easy to use, though as with most of the cheaper services, you'll be constantly bombarded with upsells for books, mugs, and more. Scott Gilbertson, Wired, "The 5 Best Photo Printing Services," 19 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Silver Line will also interface with the Red and Orange lines in Richardson and Plano, the Green Line in Carrollton and the Orange Line at DFW Airport. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "Plano receives 16,000 feet of additional rail for DART Silver Line construction," 28 Dec. 2020 The team has instituted strict protocols for club employees who interface with players, including hotel rooms at an Omni adjacent to club headquarters and testing available to club employees’ family members. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he’ll ‘absolutely’ get COVID-19 vaccine once eligible," 18 Dec. 2020 Demonstrators accused the medical center of prioritizing more senior doctors and other medical workers who don't directly interface with patients over employees at the highest risk of contracting Covid-19 from patients. NBC News, "Covid live updates: Latest on Covid vaccine distribution and second stimulus checks," 19 Dec. 2020 The action is designed to interface with a wide variety of flat, breach-face barrels, thanks to the non-protruding extractor. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "10 Top Precision Rimfire Rifles for Competition and the Field," 9 Nov. 2020 That's due to Voyager 2's position in deep space, the antenna's location in the Southern Hemisphere and the fact that the antenna can interface with the probe's 1970s technology. Ryan Prior, CNN, "After an antenna repair on Earth, NASA is now able to command Voyager 2 again," 3 Nov. 2020 Election workers interface with people all day long. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "The Alaska Division of Elections hired more than 900 people to facilitate voting in Anchorage this year. Meet one of them.," 31 Oct. 2020 For decades, technologists have been trying to get brains to interface with computer keyboards or robot arms, to get meat to commune with silicon. Adam Rogers, Wired, "A New Way to Plug a Human Brain into a Computer: via Veins," 29 Oct. 2020 Since this system has an open API, anyone can interface with it to manipulate and study those data—as when one legislator demonstrated previously unseen inequalities in the distribution system. Grace Huckins, Wired, "WIRED25 Day 3: Look at Problems in a New Way," 30 Sep. 2020

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


1882, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1962, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for interface

Time Traveler

The first known use of interface was in 1882

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Statistics for interface

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Interface.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for interface



English Language Learners Definition of interface

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the place or area at which different things meet and communicate with or affect each other
: a system that is used for operating a computer : a system that controls the way information is shown to a computer user and the way the user is able to work with the computer
: an area or system through which one machine is connected to another machine



English Language Learners Definition of interface (Entry 2 of 2)

: to connect or become connected : to connect by means of an interface


in·​ter·​face | \ ˈint-ər-ˌfās How to pronounce interface (audio) \

Medical Definition of interface

: a surface forming a common boundary of two bodies, spaces, or phases interfaces between various tissues such as skin, fatty tissue, and muscle— H. P. Schwan

Other Words from interface

interface transitive verb interfaced; interfacing
interfacial \ ˌint-​ər-​ˈfā-​shəl How to pronounce interface (audio) \ adjective

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