\ ˌpir-tə-ˈpir How to pronounce peer-to-peer (audio) \

Definition of peer-to-peer

1 : 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
2 : 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."

First Known Use of peer-to-peer

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Last Updated

14 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Peer-to-peer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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