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

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 Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is almost here, and the company is expected to unveil updates for its iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS operating systems. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "macOS 10.14 appears to be getting a dark mode and an Apple News app," 2 June 2018 Instead of developing a new OS from the existing one, Apple decided to purchase a modern OS and use that as the basis for its future operating system. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "From Win32 to Cocoa: A Windows user’s would-be conversion to Mac OS X," 26 May 2018 The action brought by NOYB against Google relates to new smartphones using its Android operating system. Lucy Fielder And Douglas Busvine, The Christian Science Monitor, "As GDPR takes effect, Austrian activist challenges 'forced consent'," 25 May 2018 Google may also unveil updates to its Android mobile operating system, enable better AI-powered navigation suggestions in Google Maps, and push further into augmented reality technology, which overlays a view of the real world with digital images. Washington Post, "Google to showcase AI advances at its big conference," 8 May 2018 Those time-management controls go further than what is offered by rival Apple on its iOS mobile operating system. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "At Google, ‘responsibility’ upstages new technology," 8 May 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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Last Updated

17 Sep 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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