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

Electric motorcycle purveyor Zero unveiled the newest addition to its slate of connected bikes on Monday, and the SR/F is certainly a testament to the growing relationship between automobiles and operating systems. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Zero's New SR/F Electric Motorcycle Charges as Fast as Your Cell Phone," 25 Feb. 2019 The Commission found that by bundling features like Google’s search engine, Chrome apps, and operating system, the company was illegally taking advantage of its market share. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Facebook fends off new anti-monopoly questions after UK email release," 5 Dec. 2018 In tandem, a range of mitigation techniques has been created to enable at-risk software, operating systems, and hypervisor platforms to protect against these attacks. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Spectre, Meltdown researchers unveil 7 more speculative execution attacks," 14 Nov. 2018 And 63% of both firms’ ads sought engineers who know the C++ language, often used for building applications and operating systems, compared with 13% nationwide. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "Amazon, Google Poised for Race to Hire High-Tech Talent," 13 Nov. 2018 Those companies are selling phones and operating systems. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook and Instagram are making it easier to spend less time on Facebook and Instagram," 1 Aug. 2018 And the places where Apple is innovating on the Mac are sometimes based on Apple’s mobile operating systems — like the lukewarmly received Touch Bar, which was built off of a version of watchOS. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The MacBook Air needs Face ID and a delightful notch," 6 Nov. 2018 For example, an application wanting to save files in the Documents folder can ask the operating system for FOLDERID_Documentsand the operating system will translate this to the actual location on disk. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows 10 October 2018 Update no longer deletes your data," 10 Oct. 2018 The first internet boom was also in full swing, and Microsoft’s Windows software — the operating system on 90 percent of the world’s personal computers — controlled that gateway to the future with its browser, Internet Explorer. Steve Lohr And Nick Wingfield, New York Times, "When Mr. Gates Went to Washington," 14 Apr. 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

16 Apr 2019

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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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