[kuh m-pyoo-ter] /kəmˈpyu tər/

a programmable electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations. Mainframes, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones are some of the different types of computers.
Compare , .
a person who ; computist.

a person who computes or calculates

1640s, “one who calculates,” agent noun from compute (v.). Meaning “calculating machine” (of any type) is from 1897; in modern use, “programmable digital electronic computer” (1945 under this name; theoretical from 1937, as Turing machine). ENIAC (1946) usually is considered the first. Computer literacy is recorded from 1970; an attempt to establish computerate (adjective, on model of literate) in this sense in the early 1980s didn’t catch on. Computerese “the jargon of programmers” is from 1960, as are computerize and computerization.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A New York Congressman says the use of computers to record personal data on individuals, such as their credit background, “is just frightening to me.” [news article, March 17, 1968]

A programmable machine that performs high-speed processing of numbers, as well as of text, graphics, symbols, and sound. All computers contain a central processing unit that interprets and executes instructions; input devices, such as a keyboard and a mouse, through which data and commands enter the computer; memory that enables the computer to store programs and data; and output devices, such as printers and display screens, that show the results after the computer has processed data.

An electronic device that stores and manipulates information. Unlike a calculator, it is able to store a program and retrieve information from its memory. Most computers today are digital, which means they perform operations with quantities represented electronically as digits.


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