pe·​riph·​er·​al | \ pə-ˈri-f(ə-)rəl How to pronounce peripheral (audio) \

Definition of peripheral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, involving, or forming a periphery or surface part
2a : of, relating to, affecting, or being part of the peripheral nervous system peripheral nerves peripheral neuritis
b : of, relating to, or being blood in the systemic circulation peripheral lymphocytes
3 : of, relating to, or being the outer part of the field of vision good peripheral vision
4 : auxiliary, supplementary peripheral equipment also : of or relating to computer peripherals



Definition of peripheral (Entry 2 of 2)

: a device connected to a computer to provide communication (such as input and output) or auxiliary functions (such as additional storage)

Other Words from peripheral


peripherally adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for peripheral

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Your peripheral vision is the outer area of your field of vision, where you can still detect movement and shapes. It can be very valuable when, for instance, you're driving into Chicago at rush hour, especially when switching lanes. When people call an issue in a discussion peripheral, they mean that it's not of primary importance, and they're probably suggesting that everyone get back to the main topic. Peripheral is now also a noun: computer peripherals are the added components—printers, webcams, microphones, etc.—that increase a computer's capacities.

Examples of peripheral in a Sentence

Adjective If we focus too much on peripheral issues, we will lose sight of the goal. peripheral devices such as modems and scanners He saw in his peripheral vision that a car was trying to pass him.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Also, studies show that the brain reacts really well when our peripheral view changes, so walking and running help the brain to slow down and see our surroundings. Raquel Reichard,, 27 July 2022 But in between, the pace often sags as the libretto, rather than the music, is tasked with building up the complete picture, incorporating many details that ultimately seem peripheral, and tending to tell rather than show. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 26 July 2022 Next, the mauling goes to training, promotions and other peripheral expenditures. Doug Leeby, Forbes, 25 July 2022 As your core temperature rises, neurons in your brain’s hypothalamus tell your peripheral blood vessels to dilate; this increases blood flow near the skin, where heat can dissipate through sweat. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 25 July 2022 From one of the most popular gaming peripheral companies, the Razer Enki X gaming chair delivers premium quality and comfort to your setup. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, 22 July 2022 There is also a peripheral tachymeter scale for average speed calculation. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 19 July 2022 Ultrawide monitors like this one from AOC provide way more peripheral vision coverage than typical displays, which is an excellent asset to have while gaming. Eric Ravenscraft, Wired, 13 July 2022 While researching Russian composers for his doctorate — at a time when scholars largely dismissed them as peripheral figures — Mr. Taruskin realized how 19th-century politics had insidiously shaped the classical canon. New York Times, 1 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun ConceptPix claims its horizontal mouse concept reduces the amount of squeezing required to use the peripheral. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 26 Apr. 2022 According to the Kickstarter, the peripheral is 3.15 inches wide, 1.57 inches long, 1.18 inches tall, and weighs 1.36 ounces. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 26 Apr. 2022 All the while, excited chatter enveloped the room and camera flashes sprung in every peripheral. Isiah Magsino, Vogue, 7 Apr. 2022 However, for those that really dig into customizing their battle station, RGB can be a fantastic addition to any peripheral. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 19 Dec. 2021 This bundle combines the Amazon Fire HD 10 with Microsoft Office 365 and a detachable keyboard peripheral. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 13 Nov. 2021 Some companies make small hubs that connect to the USB-C port and can provide multiple ports to connect almost any peripheral. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, 23 Sep. 2021 Aquapolis came from that weird e-Card era of the Pokémon Trading Card game, where cards could be scanned into the e-Reader peripheral for the Gameboy Advance. Joe Parlock, Forbes, 5 Mar. 2021 The main downside to this is price: $299 is frankly a bonkers price for a keyboard peripheral. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 30 May 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peripheral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of peripheral


1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1966, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for peripheral

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The first known use of peripheral was in 1808

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Dictionary Entries Near peripheral



peripheral field

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Peripheral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for peripheral


pe·​riph·​er·​al | \ pə-ˈrif-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce peripheral (audio) \

Medical Definition of peripheral

1 : of, relating to, involving, forming, or located near a periphery or surface part (as of the body)
2 : of, relating to, affecting, or being part of the peripheral nervous system peripheral nerves
3 : of, relating to, or being the outer part of the visual field good peripheral vision
4 : of, relating to, or being blood in the systemic circulation peripheral lymphocytes peripheral blood

Other Words from peripheral

peripherally \ -​ē How to pronounce peripheral (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on peripheral

Nglish: Translation of peripheral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of peripheral for Arabic Speakers


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