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 In lieu of that contact, programs are taking prospects on virtual tours of stadiums, facilities, weight rooms and more — giving an approximation of a real official visit through the screen of a phone or computer.


Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, “Online push-up parties, virtual tours: College football coaches get creative in spring coronavirus shutdown,” 30 Mar. 2020
Last year, the people using those phones, tablets and computers opened our stories 4.6 million times that same week.

cleveland, “The biggest numbers we’ve ever seen – Thanks for spending time with us: Letter from the Editor,” 28 Mar. 2020
Its technology will also help to power the upcoming exascale class supercomputer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the kind of high performance computer crucial for nuclear deterrence.

CNN, “You’ve probably never heard of her company. But its shares are up 1,300% since she took over,” 27 Mar. 2020
Workers hunched over computers elbow-to-elbow and held impromptu standup meetings while a prototype snack robot, resembling a trash can with a touchscreen, wheeled between desks delivering cans of Coca-Cola.


Will Knight, Wired, “China Goes Back to Work as the Coronavirus Rages On Elsewhere,” 27 Mar. 2020
For years, Lee, 55, has made her computer modeling program RealOpt available for free to agencies across the country.


Bill Rankin, ajc, “Acclaimed Georgia Tech professor Lee still barred from COVID-19 work,” 27 Mar. 2020
Another advantage is that members who don’t have computers can join in.

WSJ, “Real Congregations Start Embracing Virtual Worship,” 27 Mar. 2020
Trusted info within arm’s reach Users can access apps, websites and programs from their cellphones or computers to receive information about medical tests, screenings and how to make healthier choices.


Ashwini Lakshmanan, The Conversation, “Screen time that supports new parents and young kids can enhance family health,” 27 Mar. 2020
More: Police sought Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith’s cellphone, computer in raid at office
The charges come less than a month before the filing deadline for candidates who want to run for county office, except executive, this year.



Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, “Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith gets $100K personal bond in embezzlement case,” 27 Mar. 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

Learn More about computer

Cite this Entry

“Computer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/computer. Accessed 13 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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