Did you know?

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

Computer equipment and parts

accelerated graphics port

noun

an AGP

accelerator card

noun

a circuit board in a computer that makes the computer work faster by adding a faster central processing unit

ADC

noun

analogue-to-digital converter: a piece of equipment that changes analogue information into a digital form that can be used by a computer

A drive

noun

on old computers, the part of the computer that you put a floppy disk into

AGP

noun

accelerated graphics port: a place in a computer for connecting a circuit board that allows the computer to quickly show images that have height and depth

auxiliary device

noun

a piece of equipment that you can connect to your computer and use with it, for example a printer

base hardware

noun

the features that a computer must have in order to run a particular piece of software

bridgeware

noun

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

bus

noun

a set of wires that send information from one part of a computer system to another

cable modem

noun

a high-speed modem that allows a computer to connect to the Internet through the same underground wires as cable television

card

noun

a circuit board that fits inside a computer and connects to a particular piece of equipment such as a modem or computer screen

cathode ray tube

noun

a piece of equipment in televisions and some computers that creates the image on the screen. A beam of high-energy electrons is directed towards the screen, where it makes different spots of colour shine with light to make a picture.

CD burner

noun

a CD writer

C drive

noun

the main hard disk drive on a computer system

CD writer

noun

a piece of equipment used for recording information onto CDs

central processing unit

noun

a CPU in a computer

chip

noun

a very small piece of silicon marked with electronic connections that is used in computers and other machines

CPU

noun

a central processing unit: the part of a computer that controls what it does

CRT

abbreviation

cathode ray tube

dataport

noun

a part of a laptop computer into which you put a cable so that you can use the Internet

disk drive

noun

the part of a computer that reads information from a disk or records information onto a disk

display

noun

a computer screen or similar piece of equipment that shows information

docking station

noun

a piece of equipment to which you can connect a portable computer temporarily, for example when you are travelling between different offices, so that you can use it like a PC

dongle

noun

a piece of equipment that must be connected to a computer before a particular program can work

drive

noun

the part of a computer that sends or receives information from a disk

Dvorak keyboard

noun

a keyboard invented in 1936 with a different layout from the standard QWERTY keyboard

expansion card

noun

a circuit board that makes a computer more powerful or able to do more things

expansion slot

noun

a place on a computer where you can connect another piece of equipment to it and make it more powerful

fax-modem

noun

a modem that allows a computer to send and receive faxes

flatbed scanner

noun

a type of scanner that consists of a flat surface on which you put documents to be scanned

flat panel monitor

noun

a very thin computer screen with a flat surface that you look at

graphics adapter

noun

a part in a computer that changes software instructions into electrical signals that show images on a screen

graphics card

noun

the part inside a computer that changes information into images

graphics tablet

noun

a piece of equipment used for putting designs into a computer by drawing them with an electronic pen onto a special surface

hardware

noun

computer equipment. Computer programs are called software

hub

noun

a piece of computer equipment used for connecting one part of a computer system to another part, or for connecting several computers to each other to form a network

ink-jet printer

noun

a type of printer for computers that prints using very small drops of ink

input

noun

the connection on a computer or piece of electronic equipment where information enters it from another machine

input/output

noun

equipment or software that controls the passage of information into and out of a computer or computer part

interface

noun

a point in a computer system where information passes from one part of the system to another or from the computer to the person using it

interfacing

noun

equipment or software that allows two computers or programs to interface

intermediate system

noun

a piece of equipment that connects a network or user to the Internet

joypad

noun

a small piece of equipment with buttons that you press to control the movement of the images on the screen in some computer games

joystick

noun

an upright handle that you use to control objects on the screen in a computer game

KALQ keyboard

noun

a keyboard with a split screen developed for use on tablets and large smartphones, which makes it easier to type mainly with your thumbs

keyboard

noun

a piece of computer equipment with keys on it, used for putting information into a computer

keypad

noun

a small keyboard, for example on a telephone, computer, or calculator

laser printer

noun

a type of printer that you use with a computer, using light from a laser to make very clear letters and pictures

light pen

noun

an object shaped like a pen and used for touching a computer screen to give instructions to the computer

machine

noun

a computer

matrix

noun

an arrangement of electronic parts in a computer circuit

microchip

noun

a very small piece of silicon that contains the electronic connections for making a computer work

microprocessor

noun

a piece of electronic equipment inside a computer that makes it work. It is often simply called a processor.

MIDI

noun

musical instrument digital interface: a method of connecting a computer to an electronic musical instrument

modem

noun

a piece of equipment that allows you to connect a computer to the Internet

monitor

noun

a computer screen, or the part of a computer that contains the screen

monitor

noun

a screen that shows pictures or information

motherboard

noun

the main circuit board in a computer

mouse

noun

a small object that you move in order to do things on a computer screen. When you press on a part of the mouse, you click on it. You also click on things on the computer screen itself, using a mouse

mouse button

noun

one of the two or three parts of a computer mouse that you press to give an instruction to a computer

mouse mat

noun

a piece of soft material that you move a computer mouse around on. The usual American word is mousepad.

mousepad

noun

the flat part on a laptop that you operate with your fingers to do things on a computer screen

mousepad

noun

a mouse mat

optical pen

noun

a small piece of electronic equipment that you move across a printed page in order to store the words either in its own memory or in your computer

parallel port

noun

a connection between a computer and another piece of equipment, for example a printer, that uses more than one wire to carry information

PC

noun

personal computer: a computer that is designed to be used by one person at home or in an office

PCMCIA

noun

Personal Computer Memory Card Interface Adapter: a very small expansion board (=electronic part) for computers, especially laptops (=small computers that can be carried around)

pen

noun

an electronic object similar to a pen that you can use with a computer

peripheral

noun

a piece of equipment that you can connect to a computer, such as a printer

plasma screen

noun

a type of television or computer screen made by putting a mixture of gases between two sheets of glass. This produces a very clear picture which can be looked at from almost any angle.

plug-in

noun

a piece of software or hardware that you add to a computer to increase the range of things it can do

pointing device

noun

a piece of equipment used for moving a cursor on a computer screen, for example a computer mouse

port

noun

a part of a computer that you fit a cable into so that you can connect another piece of equipment to it

printer

noun

a piece of equipment used for printing documents that you have created on a computer

printhead

noun

a part of a computer printer that puts the letters, numbers etc on paper

processor

noun

the part of a computer that controls and performs all its operations

QWERTY keyboard

noun

the normal computer keyboard that is used for typing in the English language. Its top row of letters starts on the left with q, w, e, r, t, and y.

router

noun

a piece of equipment or software that finds the best way of sending information between any two networks

scanner

noun

a piece of equipment that is used for copying a picture or document into a computer

screen

noun

the flat surface on a computer, television, or piece of electronic equipment where words and pictures are shown

screen

noun

relating to a computer screen or to what you can see on it

SCSI

noun

small computer system interface: a part on a computer that is designed for connecting it to another piece of equipment such as a printer

serial port

noun

a part of a computer where you can connect another piece of equipment

silicon chip

noun

a small piece of silicon with a set of complicated electronic connections on it, used especially in computers

sound card

noun

a small circuit board inside a computer that changes information into sounds that you can hear, for example while you are playing a computer game

spudger

noun

a tool used for opening the case of a computer, mobile phone, etc and moving or removing small parts such as wires or SIM cards

stick

noun

a joystick

stylus

noun

an instrument used for writing in ancient times, or a similar modern instrument used for marking a computer screen

surge protector

noun

a piece of equipment that is used for protecting computers from damage caused by a sudden increase in electrical power

terminal

noun

a computer screen and a keyboard connected to a computer system

touch screen

noun

a computer screen that you touch in order to choose what you want to see next

tower

noun

a tall narrow box that contains the parts of a computer that do most of its work

trackball

noun

a ball used instead of a mouse on a computer

tube

noun

a cathode ray tube

USB device

noun

a piece of equipment such as a printer, keyboard, or modem that can be connected to a computer through a USB port

USB port

noun

a place on a computer where you can attach a cable for connecting a printer, keyboard, modem etc

VDT

noun

video display terminal: the part of an early computer that contained the screen

VDU

noun

visual display unit: a computer screen

video adapter

noun

the part inside a computer that changes information into images

video card

noun

the part inside a computer that changes information into images

visual display unit

noun

a VDU

wrist support

noun

a long object in front of a keyboard on which a user rests their wrists so that they do not develop problems with their arm or hand muscles

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

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