operating system


Definition of operating system 

: software that controls the operation of a computer and directs the processing of programs (as by assigning storage space in memory and controlling input and output functions)

Examples of operating system in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Microsoft’s Surface devices have been showcases—computers made with premium materials that have sleek designs intended to highlight the capabilities of the Windows operating system and spark creativity among its hardware partners. Jay Greene, WSJ, "Microsoft Adds a Lower-Cost Tablet in Challenge to Apple’s iPad," 9 July 2018 The presentation started with news regarding iOS 12, an update to the iPhone operating system. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Everything Apple Announced at WWDC 2018," 4 June 2018 As Nadella increasingly moves the company away from complete dependence on the Windows operating system to more in-house development on Linux, the company needs new ways to connect with the broader developer community. Bloomberg News, OregonLive.com, "Microsoft buys popular coder hangout GitHub for $7.5 billion," 4 June 2018 Apple is adding iOS apps such as News, Stocks, voice memos and home control to the Mac operating system. Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, "Privacy, security built into Apple’s next MacOS, called Mojave," 4 June 2018 In our nation’s operating system, aggressively controlling black people in public spaces is a feature, not a bug. Connie M. Razza, The Root, "Ending the Policing of Black Bodies in Public Spaces Requires Not Just a Change of Policy but a Change of Heart," 2 May 2018 While Driving feature to its iPhone operating system. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "You can't stream video while driving, more states decide as distracted driving deaths rise," 28 June 2018 Apple recently confirmed an upcoming version of its iOS operating system for iPhones and iPads would have a USB timeout feature enabled by default. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Apple iOS Passcode Crack Revealed by Security Researcher. Watch the Exploit in Action," 22 June 2018 When Windows, its flagship operating system, ruled computing in the 1990s, developers flocked to it. The Economist, "Buying GitHub takes Microsoft back to its roots," 9 June 2018

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

1961, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for operating system

Last Updated

1 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for operating system

The first known use of operating system was in 1961

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More Definitions for operating system

operating system


English Language Learners Definition of operating system

computers : the main program in a computer that controls the way the computer works and makes it possible for other programs to function

operating system


Kids Definition of operating system

: a program or series of programs that controls the operation of a computer and directs the processing of the user's programs

More from Merriam-Webster on operating system

Nglish: Translation of operating system for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about operating system

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