peripheral

adjective
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

peripheral

noun

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from peripheral

Adjective

peripherally adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for peripheral

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Most historians highlight a weak state, difficult geography with industrialisation mainly in peripheral regions, an army that refused to accept the loss of empire, and missed political opportunities. The Economist, "Too many setbacks A historian sets out to explain Spain’s tumultuous past," 20 June 2020 The peripheral areas are more affordable both from a rental and purchase perspective. Anuj Puri, Quartz India, "The work-from-home culture could change how Indians buy homes," 16 June 2020 The relatively fast recovery of olfactory function in most patients also lends support to a peripheral cause that does not kill the olfactory sensory neurons. Leslie Kay, Scientific American, "Why COVID-19 Makes People Lose Their Sense of Smell," 13 June 2020 My peripheral vision had started to just go away, and that was the first sign that, maybe, something was wrong. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "With Texas at center-stage, a look at the track's dark days with CART: 'I was so relieved I didn't have to drive'," 5 June 2020 The latest product of that particular effort is the introduction of the Magic Keyboard peripheral from the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro mini-review: A vast improvement," 30 May 2020 That latter figure accounts for festival attendees’ and vendors’ peripheral spending, including hotels, travel and food, as well as festival production expenses, such as staging and sound. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "2020 Panoply Arts Festival has been cancelled," 24 Mar. 2020 Women are peripheral to his vision of combat and to the book. Elizabeth D. Samet, Washington Post, "From Jim Mattis, leadership lessons and a love letter to Marine ‘grunts’," 24 Oct. 2019 Built in 1963, when cinema owners worried that TV sets would make theaters irrelevant, the 800-seat Cinerama Dome has an 86-foot-long, deeply curved screen — enough to fill your peripheral vision. Brooks Barnes, New York Times, "Hollywood Beacons in the Night," 23 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The main downside to this is price: $299 is frankly a bonkers price for a keyboard peripheral. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro mini-review: A vast improvement," 30 May 2020 Further Reading iPadOS review: The iPad is dead, long live the iPad The latest product of that particular effort is the introduction of the Magic Keyboard peripheral from the 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro mini-review: A vast improvement," 30 May 2020 The vector is a familiar one: the Thunderbolt ultrafast interface connects graphics cards, storage systems, and other peripherals to millions of computers. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Thunderspy: What it is, why it’s not scary, and what to do about it," 12 May 2020 In fact, many Thunderbolt peripherals made before 2019 are incompatible with Kernel DMA Protection. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "Thunderbolt Flaws Expose Millions of PCs to Hands-On Hacking," 10 May 2020 Tying them to displays and other peripherals will be the Surface Dock 3 and the Microsoft USB-C Travel Hub. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2, a new Surface Dock and Surface Headphones 2," 6 May 2020 Like the original console, the TG-16M ships with support for five-player modes, though these require peripherals from Hori (who co-developed this system). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "TurboGrafx-16 Mini review: Mostly best-in-class retro gaming, sometimes WTF," 15 Apr. 2020 Larger services like Microsoft's Azure Sphere are also exploring ways to extend more comprehensive encryption to peripherals and IoT devices. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "An Open Source Bid to Encrypt the Internet of Things," 20 Jan. 2020 Other consumer electronics, including laptop and tablet computers, monitors and other peripherals, video game consoles, and smartphones were slated to face a new 25-percent tariff rate in December. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Trump, China sign new trade deal staving off impending tech tariffs," 16 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of peripheral

Adjective

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1966, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about peripheral

Time Traveler for peripheral

Time Traveler

The first known use of peripheral was in 1808

See more words from the same year

Statistics for peripheral

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Peripheral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peripheral. Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for peripheral

peripheral

adjective
How to pronounce peripheral (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of peripheral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal : not relating to the main or most important part
computers : connected to a computer but not an essential part of it
: of or relating to the area that is to the side of the area you are looking at

peripheral

noun

English Language Learners Definition of peripheral (Entry 2 of 2)

computers : a piece of equipment (such as a printer, speaker, etc.) that is connected to a computer but is not an essential part of it

peripheral

adjective
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 peripherally (audio) \ adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on peripheral

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!