program

noun
pro·​gram | \ ˈprō-ˌgram How to pronounce program (audio) , -grəm How to pronounce program (audio) \

Definition of program

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 [Late Latin programma, from Greek] : a public notice
2a : a brief usually printed outline of the order to be followed, of the features to be presented, and the persons participating (as in a public performance)
b : the performance of a program especially : a performance broadcast on radio or television
3 : a plan or system under which action may be taken toward a goal
6a : a sequence of coded instructions that can be inserted into a mechanism (such as a computer)
b dated : a complete plan for solving a problem by the use of a mechanism (such as a computer) that includes both instructions to be inserted into the mechanism and plans for human activities such as interpreting output
c : the genes or sequences of DNA or RNA that are part of an organism or cell and encode or determine a process, trait, or behavior … a mouse in which a tiny but crucial bit of the genetic program has been eliminated.— Bruce Fellman also : a process, trait, or behavior determined by or as if by the genetic material of an organism Orb webs are marvels of geometry and construction. They are built according to a complex behavioral program, which is highly flexible in some respects and very precise in others. — Michael H. Robinson

program

verb
pro·​gram | \ ˈprō-ˌgram How to pronounce program (audio) , -grəm \
variants: or less commonly
programmed or programed; programming or programing

Definition of program (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to arrange or furnish a program of or for : bill
b : to enter in a program
2 : to work out a sequence of operations to be performed by (a mechanism, such as a computer) : to provide with a program
3a : to insert a program for (a particular action) into or as if into a mechanism (such as a computer)
b : to control by or as if by a program
c(1) : to code in an organism's program
(2) : to provide with a biological program cells programmed to synthesize hemoglobin
4 : to predetermine the thinking, behavior, or operations of as if by computer programming children are programmed into violence— Lisa A. Richette

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from program

Verb

programmability \ (ˌ)prō-​ˌgra-​mə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce program (audio) \ noun
programmable \ ˈprō-​ˌgra-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce program (audio) \ adjective or noun

Synonyms for program

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of program in a Sentence

Noun a program of regular dental checkups the program will tell us the scheduled order of musical numbers Verb He programmed the computer to calculate his monthly expenses and earnings. She is learning how to program in school. Can you help me program my cell phone?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brock, 53, a father of three from Grapevine, Texas, retired from the Air Force as deputy director of its admissions liaison officer program, which oversees personnel who recruit prospective military officers, the Air Force said. Anchorage Daily News, "Two men who allegedly carried restraints into Capitol are investigated by U.S. counterterrorism prosecutors," 11 Jan. 2021 Elgin Bates said his program would be open to playing CBC if possible. Tyler J. Davis, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State commit Emoni Bates is almost eligible to reclassify. Here's what he is thinking," 10 Jan. 2021 Minnesota was also missing its leading scorer, with All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns sitting out as part of his injury maintenance program on the second night of a back-to-back. ExpressNews.com, "Without DeRozan, Spurs run out of gas," 10 Jan. 2021 But its vaccination program has expanded in the past two weeks to senior care sites, and late last week started providing shots to first responders such as police and firefighters. Robert Weisman, BostonGlobe.com, "Rural states leading the nation in early COVID-19 vaccinations," 9 Jan. 2021 The Indian government is also revamping its Skill India program, which aims to give skills training to 400 million people by 2022 to broaden their employment options. Anuradha Nagaraj, The Christian Science Monitor, "Logging on to a new life: India's migrant workers get job skills," 8 Jan. 2021 San Jose State’s football team, which ended a dream season last week with a bowl-game loss and a cloud of coronavirus issues, now has 13 positive tests in its program, Santa Clara County officials confirmed Thursday. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "San Jose State coronavirus outbreak: 13 cases in Spartans football program," 7 Jan. 2021 In my view, the Obama administration was absolutely right to consider diplomacy with Iran on its nuclear program. CBS News, "Biggest factor in U.S.-Middle East relations is perception that U.S. is withdrawing," 6 Jan. 2021 These include: The issuer also launched the ability in October to use its Membership Rewards program to Pay with Points on prepaid car rental bookings made through AmexTravel.com. Julian Kheel, CNN Underscored, "New limited-time benefits added to American Express Platinum cards," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At Auburn, Cook learned to program and even created a system to improve the timing of traffic lights near the university. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, "Apple CEO Tim Cook’s made $15 million last year," 6 Jan. 2021 The students were supposed to use their fourth-grade math skills to program spherical robots, small enough to fit in their hands, to move. Washington Post, "Treehouse teaching and laundry art: Educators find creative ways to reach kids," 27 Nov. 2020 That role sparked her interest in politics when she was hired to program the 2010 campaign websites for now-Sen. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, "Rep.-elect Nancy Mace still recovering from June coronavirus bout: 'I was really, really sick'," 21 Dec. 2020 Kjome and Robles spoke of l plans to program more composers of color; increase board diversity; implement a staff, equity and inclusion work group; and renew partnerships with Sphinx. Elizabeth Nonemaker, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s roster of 75 includes just one Black musician. Critics say BSO must do better.," 17 Dec. 2020 The working group designing CPL was not trying to program in CPL. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "“A damn stupid thing to do”—the origins of C," 9 Dec. 2020 Both Moderna’s and Pfizer’s vaccines use a synthetic form of genetic material from the coronavirus called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to program a person’s cells to make many copies of a part of the virus. New York Times, "Moderna Applies for Emergency F.D.A. Approval for Its Coronavirus Vaccine," 30 Nov. 2020 Your little one can use the bee’s input buttons to program up to 27 different movement patterns. Lindsey Hunter Lopez, USA TODAY, "The 27 best gifts and toys for 2-year-olds," 7 Oct. 2020 Andrew Birgensmith, a co-promoter of the series, says the plan is to program two concerts a month and fill in the rest of the schedule with movies. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, "Some Phoenix music venues are reopening after COVID-19 closures. What you need to know," 21 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'program.' 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 program

Noun

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for program

Noun

French programme agenda, public notice, from Greek programma, from prographein to write before, from pro- before + graphein to write — more at carve

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about program

Time Traveler for program

Time Traveler

The first known use of program was in 1633

See more words from the same year

Statistics for program

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Program.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/program. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for program

program

noun
How to pronounce program (audio) How to pronounce program (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of program

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a plan of things that are done in order to achieve a specific result
: a set of instructions that tell a computer what to do
: a thin book or a piece of paper that gives information about a concert, play, sports game, etc.

program

verb
How to pronounce program (audio)

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

: to give (a computer) a set of instructions to perform a particular action : to create a program for (a computer)
: to give (a machine) a set of instructions to perform a particular action
: to make (a person or animal) behave or think in a particular way

program

noun
pro·​gram | \ ˈprō-ˌgram How to pronounce program (audio) , -grəm \

Kids Definition of program

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a brief statement or written outline (as of a concert, play, ceremony, or religious service)
2 : performance sense 2 a television program
3 : a plan of action … this little town had the most successful school lunch program in the state.— Andrew Clements, Frindle
4 : a set of step-by-step instructions that tell a computer to do something with data

program

verb
programmed\ ˈprō-​ˌgramd , -​grəmd \; programming

Kids Definition of program (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give (a computer) a set of instructions : provide with a program

program

noun
pro·​gram
variants: or chiefly British programme \ ˈprō-​ˌgram How to pronounce program (audio) , -​grəm How to pronounce program (audio) \

Medical Definition of program

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the genes or sequences of DNA or RNA that are part of an organism or cell and encode or determine a process, trait, or behavior
variants: or chiefly British programme
programmed or programed; programming or programing

Medical Definition of program (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to code in an organism's program
2 : to provide with a biological program cells programmed to synthesize hemoglobin

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on program

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!