source code


Definition of source code

: a computer program in its original programming language (such as FORTRAN or C) before translation into object code usually by a compiler

Examples of source code in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Microsoft, which has a longstanding history in the country, agreed to give the Chinese government access to its source code in 2003 to address national security concerns. CNN, "Trump is stealing China's playbook to deal with TikTok," 26 Sep. 2020 Under the existing proposal, Oracle has power to review the software or source code underlying the TikTok service, but ByteDance maintains ownership. Zheping Huang,, "TikTok Owner Is Gaining Confidence Beijing to Okay U.S. Deal," 18 Sep. 2020 CBS News and Vice News reported that the source code embedded in seven emails shows the message originated from IP addresses linked to servers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Estonia. Brooke Baitinger,, "Voter intimidation emails sent to UF students prompts FBI investigation," 21 Oct. 2020 The original app’s source code has been saved and widely distributed online, including in for-profit websites that offer to generate images in exchange for a small fee. Washington Post, "A shadowy AI service has transformed thousands of women’s photos into fake nudes: “Make fantasy a reality”," 20 Oct. 2020 To get around the export controls, cypherpunks printed encryption source code on T-shirts and in books. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "Taking Back Our Privacy," 19 Oct. 2020 Wyden’s letter mentions the case of an extension provider that’s from China, a country critics say pays hackers and others to steal source code, blueprints, and other proprietary data from its foreign adversaries. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Senator asks DHS if foreign-controlled browser extensions threaten the US," 30 Sep. 2020 Some reports indicate that the source code has circulated privately for some time now, which may blunt the impact of this wider release. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Security News This Week: Windows XP Source Code Got Leaked All Over the Internet," 26 Sep. 2020 The experts also said the report indicates multiple changes to the source code, meaning there's a greater likelihood of unintended side effects and opening the door for hackers to infect the voting machines with malware. Kate Brumback, Star Tribune, "With time short, judge mulls Georgia voting system changes," 7 Oct. 2020

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

1965, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about source code

Time Traveler for source code

Time Traveler

The first known use of source code was in 1965

See more words from the same year

Statistics for source code

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Source code.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

Comments on source code

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


Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a traditional thanksgiving dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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