program

1 of 2

noun

pro·​gram ˈprō-ˌgram How to pronounce program (audio) -grəm How to pronounce program (audio)
1
[Late Latin programma, from Greek] : a public notice
2
a
: 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
4
5
6
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
3
a
: 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 violenceLisa A. Richette
programmability noun
programmable adjective or noun

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?
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Ronald McDonald House Charities Ronald McDonald House Charities is known for providing support to families with seriously ill or injured children by offering housing, meals and various programs and services. Maeghan Dolph, Fox News, 10 Feb. 2024 The philanthropist also established the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics in 2009 and the Schaeffer Fellows in Government Service program in 2014. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 The two productions in OGS’ initial pilot program saved 9.8 metric tons of materials worth $33,000, saving the production on disposal fees. Todd Longwell, Variety, 9 Feb. 2024 In comparison, the state’s affordable apartment-building program focuses on units serving people earning only up to 60% of the area’s median income. Lawrence Mower, Miami Herald, 9 Feb. 2024 The head of the English department encouraged him to participate in a program that brought professional writers into the school, including the novelist Peter Markus. Thomas Chatterton Williams, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024 The apprenticeship program lasts for two years, and has minted several Bessemer partners, as well as now-VCs at other high-profile firms. Allie Garfinkle, Fortune, 9 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, the moonshot program wants to prevent more than 4 million cancer deaths by 2047 and to improve experiences of people impacted by cancer. Chase Jordan, Charlotte Observer, 9 Feb. 2024 Hilarious will be joining current stars, Radio Hall of Famers Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy as the third piece to their daily morning program. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, 29 Jan. 2024
Verb
The watch can be programmed to go off with a vibration, song, or both. Casey Clark, Parents, 9 Feb. 2024 When Brandon Miller took a peek at the incoming number programmed into his phone, noticing the unexpected caller’s name pop up, he was temporarily taken aback. Roderick Boone, Charlotte Observer, 2 Feb. 2024 Miami-Dade County Parks has a comprehensive Active Older Adults program for those 55 and up. Alexi C. Cardona, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 The computers in Pasadena were so old and slow, Jones said, the USGS had to program them to give the seismic data priority over anything else the machines were doing. Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 17 Jan. 2024 Incoming Sundance Film Festival director Eugene Hernandez began the ceremony but leading the audience in a single deep breath, and highlighted his team’s exhaustive efforts to program this milestone 40th anniversary edition. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 26 Jan. 2024 Not every user needs it, but those who do will find a graceful response—along with the ability to program multitouch gestures. PCMAG, 26 Jan. 2024 Nineteen of Simon’s works have been programmed by the NSO since his arrival in 2021 (including nine commissions across multiple genres), and the composer recently extended his contract with the orchestra through the 2026-2027 season. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2024 Ten percent of the cost of every dinner purchased goes directly to programming for continued education and food relief at the nonprofit NATIFS (North American Traditional Indian Food Systems), which acquired Owamni this September. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, 25 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'program.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

1633, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1846, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of program was in 1633

Dictionary Entries Near program

Cite this Entry

“Program.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/program. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

program

1 of 2 noun
pro·​gram ˈprō-ˌgram How to pronounce program (audio) -grəm How to pronounce program (audio)
1
: a brief usually written outline describing a presentation (as of a concert or play)
2
: the performance of a program
received a trophy at the awards program
especially : a performance that is broadcast
3
: a plan of action
a program of regular dental checkups
a political program
4
: a set of step-by-step instructions that tell a computer to do something with data

program

2 of 2 verb
programmed or programed
-ˌgramd,
-grəmd
; programming or programing
1
: to provide with a program
program a computer
2
: to direct the thinking or behavior of (someone) as if by a computer program
he's been programmed to believe he can succeed if he tries
programmable adjective

Medical Definition

program

1 of 2 noun
pro·​gram
variants or chiefly British programme
: 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

2 of 2 transitive verb
variants or chiefly British programme
programmed or programed; programming or programing
1
: to code in an organism's program
2
: to provide with a biological program
cells programmed to synthesize hemoglobin

More from Merriam-Webster on program

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