main·​frame | \ ˈmān-ˌfrām How to pronounce mainframe (audio) \

Definition of mainframe

1 : a large, powerful computer that can handle many tasks concurrently and is usually used commercially … the million-dollar mainframe computers that took up entire floors of corporate premises …— John Derbyshire
2 dated : a computer with its cabinet and internal circuits especially when considered separately from any peripherals connected to the computer

Examples of mainframe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The concept of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) has been around in some form since the 1960s, when early implementations were built around mainframes. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "The fourth Industrial revolution emerges from AI and the Internet of Things," 18 June 2019 The plan was to create an unprecedented semiconductor manufacturing technique to help build an IBM-compatible mainframe computer that was cheaper and more powerful than existing systems (accordingly, a similar goal to what Feldman envisions). Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "This Is the World's Largest Computer Chip," 27 Aug. 2019 But the mutant country of Genosha becomes unhappy with Vision overseeing their territory and destroys Vision’s mainframe, resulting in absolute chaos. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'What If?' Could Become Marvel's 'Twilight Zone'," 8 Aug. 2019 Once Muntz’s team was finished, the operating system was assembled on a mainframe, then printed out as a sheaf of instructions, which were brought to a nearby facility managed by the defense contractor Raytheon. Stephen Witt, WIRED, "Apollo 11: Mission Out of Control," 24 June 2019 In November 2017 a strike by German cargo-handlers stranded a shipment of IBM mainframe computers at Frankfurt airport. The Economist, "DigitisationDigitisation is helping to deliver goods faster," 11 July 2019 But the age of downloading experience and expertise directly into our brain mainframe is coming. Zoltan Istvan, Quartz, "In 15 years we’ll be able to upload education to our brains. So can I stop saving for my kids’ college?," 1 July 2019 The mainframe refresh had played a significant role in helping IBM to return to revenue growth a year ago. Jay Greene, WSJ, "IBM Beats Earnings Expectations Although Its Revenue Again Declines," 22 Jan. 2019 The spectacle of Life cells morphing on computer screens proved dangerously addictive for graduate students in math, physics and computer science, as well as for many people with jobs that provided access to idling mainframe computers. Quanta Magazine, "A Life in Games," 28 Aug. 2015

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

1957, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

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The first known use of mainframe was in 1957

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English Language Learners Definition of mainframe

: a large and very fast computer that can do many jobs at once

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a topic to which one constantly reverts

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