Definition of Computer by Merriam-Webster

To save this word, you’ll need to log in. com·​put·​er | kəm-ˈpyü-tər : one that computes specifically : a programmable usually electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data using a computer to design 3-D models Table of Contents Other Words from computerExamples of computer in a SentenceFirst Known […]

com·​put·​er | kəm-ˈpyü-tər How to pronounce computer (audio)

: one that computes specifically : a programmable usually electronic device that can store, retrieve, and process data using a computer to design 3-D models

Other Words from computer

computerdom kəm-​ˈpyü-​tər-​dəm How to pronounce computerdom (audio) noun
computerless kəm-​ˈpyü-​tər-​ləs How to pronounce computerless (audio) adjective
computerlike kəm-​ˈpyü-​tər-​ˌlīk How to pronounce computerlike (audio) adjective

Examples of computer in a Sentence

He works all day on a computer.

Recent Examples on the Web Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Laura Mitchell said recently that the district planned to issue computers on March 16 for student use in homes.

Max Londberg,, “Coronavirus and schools: Mason, CPS pandemic plans show preparation before crisis hit,” 13 Apr. 2020
The Wikileaks founder was arrested just over a year ago and is facing up to 175 years in U.S. prison for a slew of charges, including espionage and computer hacking.

Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, “Wikileaks founder Assange fathered two children in Ecuadorian Embassy, lawyer and partner says,” 12 Apr. 2020
Zander learns better with paper packets than computers, and will probably use the laptop for learning games, Henry said.

Alia Malik,, “Closed for coronavirus and teaching remotely, San Antonio schools hunt for missing students,” 11 Apr. 2020
For the family of five, vying for Wi-Fi bandwidth and computer time with a limited number of devices in the home was becoming a challenge.

Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, “As Anchorage classrooms shift to online learning, many families still need computers and Wi-Fi,” 11 Apr. 2020
Social isolation is difficult enough without seeing gray hairs sprouting or lash extensions fall onto the computer keyboard or pillow as the weeks go by amid shelter-in-place guidelines.

Beth Landman, The Hollywood Reporter, “DIY Hair Color, Skin Care and More: Top Salon Beauty Hacks While Isolated at Home,” 10 Apr. 2020
In New Jersey, out-of-work residents have flooded the unemployment system so much that Gov. Phil Murphy is asking for volunteers who know COBOL, a 40-year-old computer program that still powers the state’s jobless benefits setup.

Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, “Frustration builds as many Americans still wait for unemployment checks,” 10 Apr. 2020
Certainly no problem for a 144 trillion operations per second computer to make ~15 steering/acceleration/braking maneuvers per second.

Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, “Elon Musk Says His Teslas Can Be Superhuman,” 9 Apr. 2020
The best way to protect geolocation data from abuse, argues Stanford computer scientist Cristina White, is not to collect it in the first place.

Andy Greenberg, Wired, “Clever Cryptography Could Save Privacy in Covid-19 Contact-Tracing Apps,” 8 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘computer.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of computer

1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for computer

see compute

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Cite this Entry

“Computer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2020.

More Definitions for computer

com·​put·​er | kəm-ˈpyü-tər How to pronounce computer (audio)

Kids Definition of computer

: an automatic electronic machine that can store and process data

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