peripheral

1 of 2

adjective

pe·​riph·​er·​al pə-ˈri-f(ə-)rəl How to pronounce peripheral (audio)
1
: of, relating to, involving, or forming a periphery or surface part
2
a
: 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
peripherally adverb

peripheral

2 of 2

noun

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
The MacBook line-up continues to lag behind the Windows market in several key features in terms of form factors, peripheral support, and displays. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 18 Feb. 2024 That control remains largely peripheral, with rebels failing to claim a single central city or major military infrastructure. Aakash Hassan, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Feb. 2024 After surviving one of the rarest forms of cancer — a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, diagnosed in 2013 — the Alexandria resident was struck with an incredibly rare genetic disorder that causes leg spasms and stiffness. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2024 Despite its historical roots and endorsements from notable figures like Augustus Pitt Rivers and Lewis Binford, ethnology remains a peripheral tool in archaeological studies. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Jan. 2024 Even in cases where peripheral complications arise, such as with Austin, the advantages of the surgery far outweigh the minuses. Eduardo Cuevas, USA TODAY, 10 Jan. 2024 The game comes in the silvery packaging that was standard for Vectrex releases in its day and even comes with a light pen, a peripheral used for keying in those delivery routes. Tim Stevens, Ars Technica, 4 Jan. 2024 But the characters are not especially funny and feel so peripheral to the story that they could be eliminated without affecting anything. Murtada Elfadl, Variety, 27 Jan. 2024 Others found the cone blocked their peripheral vision, which meant their dog sometimes bumped into them. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 26 Jan. 2024
Noun
The permanent connections to peripherals like printers or webcams can be connected via the rear ports, keeping everything neat. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 There is one notable change on the peripheral side, however: the Pi 5 will lower power output to USB peripherals down to 600 mA under heavy workloads when using a typical 15-Watt USB-C connector, lower than the 1.2-Amp limit on the Pi 4. Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 28 Sep. 2023 Audio devices like headphones, speakers, and other similar peripherals, greatly enhance individuals’ experience using a computer. Miami Herald, 25 Jan. 2024 This pre-loved MacBook Air also has a 13.3-inch display with Intel HD Graphics 6000, 128GB of SSD storage for important files and other media, and seamless WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity for easy file transfers, pairing with peripherals, and more. Stackcommerce Team, PCMAG, 22 Jan. 2024 The monitor adds an extra AI spin to ongoing conversations about what qualifies as cheating as gaming computers and peripherals get more advanced and try to inject themselves more fully into gameplay. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 14 Jan. 2024 One of the nice things about Hyper’s Apple peripherals is that they’re designed to blend in with your Apple devices, so this dongle is comes in a space gray metal enclosure with rounded edges that doesn’t look out of place or stick out like a sore thumb when plugged into your iPad. Brenda Stolyar, WIRED, 26 Nov. 2023 The Raspberry Pi 5, which will go on sale next month, is a lot more powerful than its predecessors, featuring at least 4GB of RAM, the ability to run two 4K displays at once, and better support for PCI Express peripherals—all for a starting price of $60. David Meyer, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2023 Be mindful of what a headset includes and what other proprietary peripherals are available for it. Kevin Cortez, Popular Mechanics, 11 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'peripheral.' 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

Adjective

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of peripheral was in 1808

Dictionary Entries Near peripheral

Cite this Entry

“Peripheral.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peripheral. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

peripheral

1 of 2 adjective
pe·​riph·​er·​al pə-ˈrif-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce peripheral (audio)
1
: of, relating to, located in, or forming a periphery
2
: auxiliary entry 1, supplementary
peripheral equipment
peripherally
adverb

peripheral

2 of 2 noun
: a device connected to a computer to provide communication (as input and output) or extra storage capacity

Medical Definition

peripheral

adjective
pe·​riph·​er·​al pə-ˈrif-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce peripheral (audio)
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
peripherally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on peripheral

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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