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 programmability (audio) \ noun
programmable \ ˈprō-​ˌgra-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce programmable (audio) \ adjective or noun

Synonyms for program

Synonyms: Noun

agenda, calendar, docket, schedule, timetable

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

The president of Columbia canceled his undergraduate program, to protect students from such radical thinking. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, "Pioneers of Cultural Relativism," 14 Aug. 2019 Related Articles But some change is coming to St. Thomas football, and the athletic program as a whole. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "On way out of MIAC, St. Thomas football coach Glenn Caruso will not apologize or compromise," 13 Aug. 2019 However, building more complicated lenses can require technical skills, such as coding, 3D modeling, photo editing and graphic design knowledge, and using other expensive programs such as Photoshop. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "Snapchat creators earn serious money from making photo filters," 13 Aug. 2019 One of the biggest road bumps to telemedicine access—across the country—has been restrictions on whether certain public programs such as Medicaid can cover them. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "A Federal Panel Says All Adults Should Be Screened for Drug Addiction: Brainstorm Health," 13 Aug. 2019 The company announced Monday he has been brought back to cover Dallas sports for a variety of programs, such as SportsCenter and NFL Live. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, "Longtime NFL reporter Ed Werder rejoins ESPN, two years after company included him in layoffs," 12 Aug. 2019 League officials regard the helmet-testing program as a significant component of their push to curb the number of concussions suffered by players. Mark Maske, courant.com, "The Raiders are experiencing the full force of Antonio Brown’s diva receiver act," 11 Aug. 2019 League officials regard the helmet-testing program as a significant component of their push to curb the number of concussions suffered by players. Mark Maske, chicagotribune.com, "Analysis: The Raiders are experiencing the full force of Antonio Brown’s diva act," 11 Aug. 2019 Agency employees recommend the program as an additional resource to patients, who then take the initiative in contacting Giardi. Alison Kuznitz, BostonGlobe.com, "‘I validate your pain’: A new suicide prevention program on Cape Cod is rethinking mental health care," 10 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bowl's shape and the equipment inside will work with a series of speakers that are programmed so audience members seated throughout the space will hear the dialogue at the same time, Timmerman said. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "See the first changes that will transform west side's Riverside Park over the next 25 years," 24 July 2019 Learning how to adapt in the real world isn’t a task that can be programmed. Fortune, "eBay CEO: Why We Should Teach All Students to Code," 20 July 2019 Cubetto is a wooden robotic toy, which can be programmed by kids as young as three years. Parul Agrawal, Quartz India, "In India, toddlers are starting to write computer codes before they can talk," 11 July 2019 The fleet would operate on Wi-Fi and could be programmed remotely by a reduced staff of operators on port premises, Lagaay said. Margot Roosevelt, latimes.com, "The robots are coming, L.A. port shipping giant tells union and politicians," 26 June 2019 Unlike a neat and tidy factory, where robots can be programmed to undertake repetitive tasks without any surprises, decontaminating an old nuclear site requires the ability to operate in an unstructured environment. The Economist, "Cleaning up nuclear waste is an obvious task for robots," 20 June 2019 In early 2013, Harvard biologist George Church and the Broad’s Zhang published simultaneous papers showing that CRISPR can be programmed to cut the genome inside human cells, a step toward turning CRISPR into a disease treatment. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Who gets credit for CRISPR? Prestigious award singles out three, and leaves out a notable scientist," 31 May 2018 Modern apps mostly use application programming interfaces (APIs)—a software intermediary that allows two applications to exchange information in order to serve content. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "It took a ban and a government notice for ByteDance to wake up in India," 21 July 2019 The city is currently seeking input on what programming the community would like to see. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "With public art master plan pending, Huntington Beach council moves to dissolve art board," 16 July 2019

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

Statistics for program

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for program

The first known use of program was in 1633

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for program

program

noun

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

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 programme (audio) , -​grəm How to pronounce programme (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

program

transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on program

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with program

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for program

Spanish Central: Translation of program

Nglish: Translation of program for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of program for Arabic Speakers

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

a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!