Did you know?

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

Computer software

accounting package

noun

a piece of software that a business uses to organize its financial records

address book

noun

a piece of computer software that you use to record people’s names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.

alpha version

noun

the first form of a new piece of computer equipment or software, made to be tested and usually changed several times before the final product is sold

API

noun

application programming interface: a set of rules and tools for building software applications that allows them to communicate with other software

app

noun

a piece of software that is designed to do a particular job, especially one that people use on a smartphone

application

noun

a piece of computer software that is designed to do a particular job

application software

noun

software used for writing documents, creating charts, building databases, etc. that is not part of the computer’s operating system

authoring software

noun

software used for creating files that contain video, pictures, words and sound

automatic recovery program

noun

software that runs automatically when a piece of equipment fails, so that the system continues to work

autoresponder

noun

a piece of software that automatically sends you a message telling you another Internet user cannot reply to your e-mail

backup utility

noun

a piece of software that makes the process of backing up computer information easier

beta version

noun

a form of a new product or new software that is given to people to test before it is sold to the public

betaware

noun

software that is a beta version

BIOS

noun

basic input/output system: the software that controls the way many basic parts of the computer work, for example the keyboard, screen, and disk drives

bloatware

noun

software that uses a lot more computing power than is necessary and therefore wastes memory or disk space that could be used for other purposes

bridgeware

noun

computer equipment or software that makes changing from one computer system to another easier, for example by changing the file format

bundled software

noun

software that is already on your new computer when you buy it and is included in its price

check indicator

noun

a piece of computer equipment or software that shows there is a fault in a file that you have received

checking program

noun

a piece of software that finds mistakes in computer programs

collator

noun

a piece of software that arranges information that you have collected in a sensible order

communications software

noun

software that allows a user to control a modem and use Internet services

courseware

noun

computer programs used for teaching people a subject or skill

database server

noun

a piece of software that runs on a server computer on a network and allows users on different computers to be able to use a database

demand paging

noun

a piece of software that makes extra memory available when the computer needs to run more programs than normal

demo

noun

a piece of computer software that you can try for a period before buying the full program, or that shows you what the full program is like and how it works

development software

noun

a set of programs that helps someone to write new software and make sure it is working correctly

device manager

noun

a piece of software that allows you to control the use of a printer, screen, or other piece of equipment

DIM

abbreviation

document image management: software that allows a user to record and store printed information in a digital form that a computer can use

disassembler

noun

a piece of software that changes machine language back into assembly language

document image management

noun

dim

DOS

Disk Operating System: the basic software in a computer that makes it work and allows you to use a program. It is usually used only in older computers.

driver

noun

software that controls a piece of equipment connected to a computer

DTV

abbreviation

digital television: a television that uses electronic signals

editor program

noun

a piece of software that allows the user to choose parts of a file and change them, get rid of them, or add things to them

emulator

noun

a piece of software that does the same as another piece of software but that works with a different type of computer

engine

noun

a computer program that performs an essential or special action for other programs

enterprise software

noun

software that is designed for a particular type of organization and controls many aspects of its business

evaluation copy

noun

a piece of software that has the most important features of a new software product and is designed for people to try before buying the full product

expert system

noun

a type of computer software that uses a process similar to the way humans think in order to provide people with solutions to problems relating to a particular subject

freeware

noun

computer software that is available free on cd-rom or from the Internet. Software that you use free for a short time and then pay for is called shareware

gadget

noun

a small piece of software that you can add to a website in order to customize it

garbageware

noun

computer software of very low quality

grammar checker

noun

a piece of software that checks documents to make sure they have no grammar mistakes

groupware

noun

software and other computer tools that make it possible for people in different places to work on the same project

integrated software

noun

software such as an operating system or word-processor that is stored in a computer system and has been designed for that particular system

interface

noun

a piece of software or a connection that allows two pieces of computer equipment, for example a computer and a printer, to work together

interfacing

noun

equipment or software that allows two computers or programs to interface

killer app

noun

killer application: a piece of software that is so popular that it makes many people buy the computer system that it operates on

library

noun

a collection of computer software that someone can buy or borrow

listserv

a piece of software that automatically sends a copy of every e-mail received to all members of a group

maintenance routine

noun

a piece of software that you use to make sure that there are no problems with a computer system that could cause damage to it

malware

noun

software such as a virus that is designed to damage or destroy information on a computer

mashup

noun

a website or piece of software making use of information from more than one website, for example using photographs from one website and text from another

multiuser program

noun

a piece of software that allows many users to enter the times and dates of meetings, things they must do, etc. in a single place

operating system

noun

the software that tells the parts of a computer how to work together and what to do

package

noun

a set of different pieces of computer software that are sold together as one unit

paint program

noun

a piece of software that allows a user to draw pictures on screen in different colors, with different styles of brush and special effects

password protection

noun

software for which a user has to enter a password before he or she can use it

patch

noun

a piece of software that you add to a computer program in order to improve it or remove a fault

payware

noun

software that you have to pay for

PING

abbreviation

packet Internet groper: a piece of software that tests all the nodes on a network to make sure that they are working correctly

preprocessor

noun

a piece of software that partly prepares information before it is used

presentation software

noun

software that allows a user to create a business presentation with words, pictures, and charts

printer driver

noun

a piece of software that controls how data prints on a particular printer

sequencer

noun

a piece of software that allows a user to write music for electronic musical instruments, record notes from instruments, and mix together several pieces of music

shareware

noun

computer software that you can get on the Internet and use for a period of time before paying for it

shopping cart

noun

a piece of software that runs on a web server and allows users to choose the things that they want to buy

soft goods

noun

software that you can buy and download from the Internet

software

noun

programs used by computers for doing particular jobs

spam killer

noun

software that automatically finds and deals with spam

spyware

noun

software put onto your computer without you realizing it that sends information about you and your Internet use over the Internet

system software

noun

the operating system and programs used to operate a computer system

update

noun

a piece of software that contains recent improvements to a computer program

upgrade

noun

a piece of equipment or software designed to make a computer more powerful

virus checker

noun

software that finds and removes computer viruses from a computer

web browser

noun

a software program that is used for finding and looking at pages on the Internet

workflow

noun

software designed to improve the flow of electronic documents around an office network, from user to user

hostile architecture

the design of buildings or public spaces in a way which discourages people from touching, climbing or sitting on them …

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

boots on the ground

a situation in which a country's armed forces are physically present in an area of conflict …

add a word

Blog

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