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.

Example Sentences

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
At that moment, in the Athenee lounge, Rabenn recalls seeing the same Porsche out of the corner of his peripheral vision and instantly remembering that a white Panamera was in Cazes’ stable of pricey vehicles. WIRED, 15 Nov. 2022 The screen design differs from the pricier iPad Air in an important way: There's an air gap that makes the Apple Pencil peripheral feel just a bit worse to use. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 27 Oct. 2022 The peripheral features three USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a DisplayPort 1.4 slot, and HDMI 2.0 port. PCMAG, 6 Oct. 2022 Darius always served the show as a peripheral comedy sidekick. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 11 Nov. 2022 The supporting cast features Sally Hawkins, a classy addition to anything, as Jamie’s sister, although in this case playing a character whose arc feels highly peripheral to the central plot. Brian Lowry, CNN, 10 Nov. 2022 Rosenfeld, of Indiana University, said comments once previously disregarded as peripheral now find staying power on social media. Marc Ramirez, USA TODAY, 7 Nov. 2022 Over the next two centuries, a reversal of fortunes would make single-family homes in peripheral communities crucial to the American Dream. The Atlantic, 4 Nov. 2022 However, Apple provides a couple of key peripheral options. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, 27 Oct. 2022
Noun
This Corsair peripheral made it into our Best Keyboards guide, thanks in large part to this keyboard's interesting control wheel. WIRED, 27 Nov. 2022 Das Keyboard's MacTigr is a no-fuss, conservative peripheral. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 16 Aug. 2022 Ideally, a mouse (or any PC peripheral) doesn't get in the way of your productivity. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 12 Oct. 2022 Need to charge a mobile device, or connect a peripheral to a PC or Mac? Tom Brant, PCMAG, 15 Sep. 2022 That said, Corsair stuffed the slim peripheral with a row of G-keys above the numpad that are reprogrammable with the likes of macros and application launching, without having to sacrifice any keys from a full-size layout. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 9 Sep. 2022 The tech is available on a module that can be integrated into other products or as a standalone peripheral that can be plugged into a computer. Ian Carlos Campbell, The Verge, 7 Jan. 2021 While components like graphics cards and RAM are crucial, one peripheral that is often overlooked is your display. Harry Rabinowitz, Popular Mechanics, 27 May 2021 New MacBook Pro users looking to make the best of their new laptops may be in for a long wait, as a key peripheral is in short supply. Ewan Spence, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ