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Computer Definition & Meaning | What is a Computer?

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By Vangie Beal

A computer is a programmable machine. The two principal characteristics of a computer are: It responds to a specific set of instructions in a well-defined manner and it can execute a prerecorded list of instructions (a program).

Modern Computers Defined

Modern computers are electronic and digital. The actual machinery wires, transistors, and circuits is called hardware; the instructions and data are called software.

All general-purpose computers require the following hardware components:

In addition to these components, many others make it possible for the basic components to work together efficiently. For example, every computer requires a bus that transmits data from one part of the computer to another.

Computer Classification: By Size and Power

Most people associate a personal computer (PC) with the phrase computer.  A PC is a small and relatively inexpensive computer designed for an individual

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definition of gadget by The Free Dictionary


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gadg·et

(găj′ĭt)

n.

A small specialized mechanical or electronic device; a contrivance.


[Perhaps originally 19th century glassblowers’ jargon gadget, spring-pressure clip at the end of a punty to hold the foot of a glass being blown without creating a mark, probably from French gâchette, pawl, tumbler in a gunlock, strike plate : gâche, strike plate, collar or bracket for a pipe (from Middle French gasche, strike plate, iron hook, from Old French, calk of a shoe or horseshoe, from Frankish *gaspia, buckle, clasp; akin to Middle Dutch gespe, probably (with metathesis) from Germanic *gapsō, *gipsō; akin to Old Norse geispa, to yawn, and gapa, to gape) + -ette, diminutive suffix (from Middle French, from Old French; see -ette).]

gadg′et·y adj.

gadget

(

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Definition of Gadget by Merriam-Webster

gad·​get | ˈga-jət How to pronounce gadget (audio)

: an often small mechanical or electronic device with a practical use but often thought of as a novelty

Other Words from gadget

gadgetry ˈga-​jə-​trē How to pronounce gadgetry (audio) noun
gadgety ˈga-​jə-​tē How to pronounce gadgety (audio) adjective

Examples of gadget in a Sentence

The kitchen is equipped with all the latest gadgets.

cell phones, pagers, and other gadgets

Recent Examples on the Web As recently as 2015, one group of researchers at Tel Aviv University created a $300 gadget that fits in a piece of pita bread and can derive the encryption keys on a nearby laptop’s hard drive by picking up its electrical emissions.


Andy Greenberg, Wired, “Hacker Lexicon: What Is a Side Channel Attack?,” 21 June 2020
More experienced golfers, Ostrom adds, are usually into any gadget that will help improve their game.


Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, “The best
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Definition of Gadget at Dictionary.com

[ gaj-it ]

/ ˈgædʒ ɪt /


noun

a mechanical contrivance or device; any ingenious article.

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orchard

Origin of gadget

1850–55; origin uncertain; compare French gâchette the catch of a lock, sear of a gunlock

OTHER WORDS FROM gadget

gadg·et·y [gaj-i-tee] /ˈgædʒ ɪ ti/, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for

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