Definition of Computer by Merriam-Webster

Hellen Wadman

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 The researchers, including co-author Vladimir Pariev, looked at a number of different computer models, testing objects as small as 164 feet across all the way up to 656 feet across, comprised of rock, ice or iron.

Fox News, “Tunguska event may have been caused by iron asteroid that went back into space, researchers say,” 2 June 2020
Though that’s still two days away, computer models are showing temperatures in the 90s and dew points in the 60s and possibly 70s, which feel sticky to very uncomfortable.

Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Temperatures could soar to 90 on Tuesday, bringing intense humidity and severe thunderstorms,” 1 June 2020
There is a lot more time spent writing, reporting, transcribing interviews (ugh) and staring at a computer screen trying to find the words.

Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, “Insider: After 80 days, covering a live sporting event again was refreshing,” 28 May 2020
In fact, from Saturday onward, the average of computer model forecasts indicate every day should surpass 70 with 80s most common.

Washington Post, “Washington’s six weeks of spring gloom are about to end,” 22 May 2020
The fates of specific people cannot be captured by a computer model.

James Glanz,, “Lockdown delays cost at least 36,000 lives, researchers estimate,” 21 May 2020
Next, a computer model analyzed these images and inferred the winds speeds based on their characteristics, such as the tightness of the storm’s spiral and the temperature at different parts of the clouds.

Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, “Tropical storm seasons keep getting worse, and 2020 should be no different,” 20 May 2020
This unusually mild air mass is expected to continue for at least the next seven to 10 days, possibly longer, computer model projections show.

Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, “Unusual warmth pours over North Pole, potentially jump-starting melt season for Arctic ice,” 15 May 2020
None of that is good news for active fund managers—especially the quantitative investors who create trading rules from computer models.

Justina Lee,, “When the Big Get Bigger, Active Stockpickers Feel Even More Pain,” 28 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 15 Jun. 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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What is a Computer? Webopedia Definition

Main » TERM » C » By Vangie Beal A computer is a programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: It responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program). Modern Computers Defined Modern […]