Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

system - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun system pronunciation in British English /ˈsɪstəm/
Word Forms
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [countable] a set of connected things that work together for a particular purpose
    a central heating system
    I decided to install a security system after the shop was burgled.
    the capital’s inadequate public transport system
    1. a.
      a set of organs, tubes etc in your body that work together
      cardiovascular/circulatory system: First, check that the circulatory system is working properly.
    2. b.
      a set of pieces of equipment or computer programs that work together
      a new computer system
      The magazine is produced using a desktop publishing system.
      system requirements (=the type of software, hardware, and the amount of memory needed to operate a program): The system requirements for this program are listed below.
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] a method of organizing or doing things
    a legal/educational/political system
    a two-party/multiparty system
    the criminal justice system
    system for: They are introducing a very sophisticated system for delivering information.
    system of: a democratic system of government
    system to: There is simply no system to the way Joshua works.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog