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 now must somehow pry users of Windows XP (4.54 percent share, according to NetAnalytics) and Windows 8.1 (4.45 percent) off those legacy operating systems and onto Windows 10. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Windows 10 finally tops Windows 7 in user share," 2 Jan. 2019 Older machines, for example, are more likely to run outdated software or operating systems that no longer get security updates — making them potentially vulnerable to newer threats. German Lopez, Vox, "Why voting machines malfunctioned on Election Day," 7 Nov. 2018 For any other devices and/or operating systems, please visit the privacy settings for the applicable device or contact the applicable platform operator. sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego Union-Tribune Privacy Policy," 21 June 2018 Meanwhile, splitting off the Android operating system and its associated elements would fundamentally change Google’s relationship with the booming mobile market, the future for search and advertising. The Editorial Board, BostonGlobe.com, "The case for breaking up Google," 14 June 2018 Overall, the Watch GT is a solid smartwatch, and LiteOS is a decent, lightweight operating system to power smartwatches. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Huawei Watch GT review: When hardware and software don’t mesh," 16 Dec. 2018 Android phone makers and cellular carriers have started using Rich Communications Services, aka RCS, which brings the best of messaging apps to cross-operating system texting. Joanna Stern, WSJ, "Ugh, Green Bubbles! Apple’s iMessage Makes Switching to Android Hard," 18 Oct. 2018 Google was hit with a $5 billion fine from European regulators this year over allegations its Android operating system prioritizes Google’s products and services over those of competitors. Emily Stewart, Vox, "There are lots of reasons to worry about Google. Congress just picked the wrong one.," 12 Dec. 2018 After his company built an Artificial Intelligence operating system, he was invited to the summit by the UAE’s Minister of Artificial Intelligence, His Excellency Omar bin Sultan Al Olama. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "NASA is building models to predict mosquito-borne illnesses and you can help them do it," 3 July 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

5 Feb 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

Comments on operating system

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


to deny responsibility for

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