: relating to, using, or being a network by which computers operated by individuals can share information and resources directly without relying on a dedicated central server (see server sense 6)
In peer-to-peer computing, every client can be a server. You string together two or more computers, and everyone can share files, programs, drives …, printers, and anything else that's attached.Steve Bass
: existing or done between peers
In 2010, the Texas National Guard implemented its peer-to-peer counseling initiative, and since then more than 800 National Guard troops have been trained to identify warning signs of mental distress and refer soldiers for more intensive care.Jeremy Schwartz
George Washington's resident advisers are undergraduates who live in student housing so they can have informal, peer-to-peer mentoring relationships with other undergraduates, to whom they serve as role models.Peter Schmidt

Did you know?

The term peer-to-peer is a relatively recent addition to the English language, being little more than a half-century old. In its earliest known uses from the 1960s, it referred to something that occurs directly between human peers, people who are similar in age, grade, or status. It can still be found in this use in phrases such as "peer-to-peer tutoring." With the emergence of computer networking, peer-to-peer began to be used in reference to a system of computers that are able to communicate directly with one another without the mediation of a centralized server. Since the turn of the 21st century, peer-to-peer lending—the borrowing and lending of money through online services—has become increasingly common. You might also encounter peer-to-peer in the techy abbreviated form P2P, as in "P2P networking."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Evidence presented before Judge Stephanie A. Gallagher established that Robert Jackson Wyatt, Jr., 54, distributed child pornography by peer-to-peer online file sharing. Katia Parks, Baltimore Sun, 11 May 2023 Over the years, the room listing has eclipsed the homeowner profile on the platform, reducing its peer-to-peer vibe. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 10 May 2023 The NFTs won’t be delivered to wallets until May 7. Jack Hill—POOL/AFP via Getty Images Sotheby’s launched a peer-to-peer secondary market for NFT art and collectibles on its marketplace, Sotheby’s Metaverse, this week. Marco Quiroz-gutierrez, Fortune Crypto, 6 May 2023 The Partnership for Carbon Transparency, for instance, has created the Pathfinder Network to facilitate the peer-to-peer exchange of supply chain data via a standardized, interoperable data-sharing system. Marion Verles, Forbes, 5 May 2023 These days, many actors and other entertainment professionals turn to the Lee List, a by-invitation-only peer-to-peer platform that posts ads for the apartments and houses that its members are offering for rent in cities around the country and around the world. Joanne Kaufman, New York Times, 21 Apr. 2023 To help sell its drugs, Horizon blankets specialist physicians with marketing and peer-to-peer appeals. Arthur Allen, Fortune, 13 Apr. 2023 The Lightning Network uses peer-to-peer technology to rapidly accelerate Bitcoin payments, letting users carry out rapid transactions for just a few pennies. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune Crypto, 11 Apr. 2023 Those anti-trans ads came from a conservative group called American Principles Project, or APP; its PAC invested at least $796,000 to boost Kelly, as of campaign finance disclosures up to March 17, with the group pouring money into digital ads and peer-to-peer messaging. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, 6 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'peer-to-peer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of peer-to-peer was in 1963


Dictionary Entries Near peer-to-peer

Cite this Entry

“Peer-to-peer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peer-to-peer. Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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