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 violence Lisa A. Richette
programmability noun
programmable adjective or noun

Example Sentences

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
Landen King appears set to remain at Auburn to play for the program’s next head coach. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, 22 Nov. 2022 The Biden administration last month launched an online application for the program. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2022 The lawsuit was viewed with skepticism by Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, 22 Nov. 2022 That's some tough sledding for a program seeking Kenny Payne's first victory. Jake Adams, The Courier-Journal, 22 Nov. 2022 The three-time Pro Bowler's Homes for the Holidays program has helped provide furnishing for more than 200 homes and approximately $1 million in down payments while serving more than 450 single parents and children. Arkansas Online, 21 Nov. 2022 Special teams coordinator Lyndon Johnson will serve as the interim coach, and a national search for the program’s fifth coach begins immediately. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 21 Nov. 2022 For that program, Lidiya Yankovskaya was the evening’s respectful conductor. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 Stanford beat South Carolina 56-55 in the 2021 national semifinal before edging Arizona 54-53 for the program’s first title since 1992. Janie Mccauley, ajc, 20 Nov. 2022
Verb
By using LEGOs, kids can build and program a robot using basic coding principles. Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping, 18 Nov. 2022 For the competition, 10 mechanical, electrical and computer engineering students will design and program a rocket that may soar up to an altitude of 6,000 feet and then land successfully, simulating potential exploration rockets on Mars. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 17 Nov. 2022 Users must program their commands using a Windows PC, but afterward will be able to connect the system to other operating systems in the same way that standard mice and keyboards can be, Ms. Michel said. Katie Deighton, WSJ, 11 May 2022 As Festivals Director, Tuttle helped guide the BFI festivals program through the COVID pandemic. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Oct. 2022 The work is akin to developing software: Once the genetic code of the flu strain in circulation is sequenced, researchers can use that code to program mRNA to mobilize a person’s immune defenses against the virus. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 Kids can program the droids to embark on 40 different missions. Paige Szmodis, Popular Mechanics, 6 Oct. 2022 Users can also program new systems to continuously monitor occupants on-site to improve safety, security and efficiency. Usman Shuja, Forbes, 18 May 2022 Small-caliber, rapid-fire cannons such as the XM813 Bushmaster chain gun (above) can electronically program their 30-millimeter rounds to explode over foxholes, peppering those inside with lethal shrapnel. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 5 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

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 30 Nov. 2022.

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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