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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does computing mean? 

  The noun COMPUTING has 2 senses:

1. the branch of engineering science that studies (with the aid of computers) computable processes and structures
2. the procedure of calculating; determining something by mathematical or logical methods

  Familiarity information: COMPUTING used as a noun is rare.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1computing [BACK TO TOP]


The branch of engineering science that studies (with the aid of computers) computable processes and structures

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents


computer science; computing

Hypernyms ("computing" is a kind of...):

applied science; engineering; engineering science; technology (the discipline dealing with the art or science of applying scientific knowledge to practical problems)

Domain category:

computer; computing device; computing machine; data processor; electronic computer; information processing system (a machine for performing calculations automatically)

Domain member category:

algorithm error (error resulting from the choice of the wrong algorithm or method for achieving the intended result)

bit field (a field containing only binary characters)

field ((computer science) a set of one or more adjacent characters comprising a unit of information)

disc pack; disk pack ((computer science) a portable pack of magnetic disks used in a disk storage device)

run-time error; runtime error; semantic error (an error in logic or arithmetic that must be detected at run time)

head crash ((computer science) a crash of a read/write head in a hard disk drive (usually caused by contact of the head with the surface of the magnetic disk))

syntax error (an error of language resulting from code that does not conform to the syntax of the programming language)

crash ((computer science) an event that causes a computer system to become inoperative)

seek (the movement of a read/write head to a specific data track on a disk)

disc space; disk space ((computer science) the space available on a magnetic disk)

disk overhead; overhead ((computer science) the disk space required for information that is not data but is used for location and timing)

power user ((computing) a computer user who needs the fastest and most powerful computers available)

storage ((computer science) the process of storing information in a computer memory or on a magnetic tape or disk)

retrieval ((computer science) the operation of accessing information from the computer's memory)

operation ((computer science) data processing in which the result is completely specified by a rule (especially the processing that results from a single instruction))

iteration; loop ((computer science) a single execution of a set of instructions that are to be repeated)

iteration; looping ((computer science) executing the same set of instructions a given number of times or until a specified result is obtained)

fragmentation ((computer science) the condition of a file that is broken up and stored in many different locations on a magnetic disk)

execution; instruction execution ((computer science) the process of carrying out an instruction by a computer)

data processing ((computer science) a series of operations on data by a computer in order to retrieve or transform or classify information)

resolution ((computer science) the number of pixels per square inch on a computer-generated display; the greater the resolution, the better the picture)

coder; computer programmer; programmer; software engineer (a person who designs and writes and tests computer programs)

programming error; software error (error resulting from bad code in some program involved in producing the erroneous result)

disk error (error resulting from malfunction of a magnetic disk)

hardware error (error resulting from a malfunction of some physical component of the computer)

text editor ((computer science) an application that can be used to create and view and edit text files)

initialisation; initialization; low-level formatting ((computer science) the format of sectors on the surface of a hard disk drive so that the operating system can access them and setting a starting position)

high-level formatting ((computer science) the format for the root directory and the file allocation tables and other basic configurations)

computer database; electronic database; electronic information service; on-line database ((computer science) a database that can be accessed by computers)

command; instruction; program line; statement ((computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program)

service program; utility; utility program ((computer science) a program designed for general support of the processes of a computer)

interpreter; interpretive program ((computer science) a program that translates and executes source language statements one line at a time)

interface; user interface ((computer science) a program that controls a display for the user (usually on a computer monitor) and that allows the user to interact with the system)

editor; editor program ((computer science) a program designed to perform such editorial functions as rearrangement or modification or deletion of data)

device driver; driver ((computer science) a program that determines how a computer will communicate with a peripheral device)

GIGO ((computer science) a rule stating that the quality of the output is a function of the quality of the input; put garbage in and you get garbage out)

communications protocol; protocol ((computer science) rules determining the format and transmission of data)

computer error; error ((computer science) the occurrence of an incorrect result produced by a computer)

packet ((computer science) a message or message fragment)

icon ((computer science) a graphic symbol (usually a simple picture) that denotes a program or a command or a data file or a concept in a graphical user interface)

object-oriented programing language; object-oriented programming language ((computer science) a programming language that enables the programmer to associate a set of procedures with each type of data structure)

programing language; programming language ((computer science) a language designed for programming computers)

domain name (strings of letters and numbers (separated by periods) that are used to name organizations and computers and addresses on the internet)

raster font; screen font (the font that is displayed on a computer screen)

cartridge font; font cartridge (any font that is contained in a cartridge that can be plugged into a computer printer)

SGML; standard generalized markup language ((computer science) a standardized language for the descriptive markup of documents; a set of rules for using whatever markup vocabulary is adopted)

file transfer protocol; FTP (protocol that allows users to copy files between their local system and any system they can reach on the network)

compiler; compiling program ((computer science) a program that decodes instructions written in a higher order language and produces an assembly language program)

open-source (of or relating to or being computer software for which the source code is freely available)

spool (transfer data intended for a peripheral device (usually a printer) into temporary storage)

program; programme (write a computer program)

computerise; computerize; cybernate (control a function, process, or creation by a computer)

cascade (arrange (open windows) on a computer desktop so that they overlap each other, with the title bars visible)

concatenate (arranged into chained list)

input (enter (data or a program) into a computer)

network (communicate with and within a group)

spam (send unwanted or junk e-mail)

e-mail; email; netmail (communicate electronically on the computer)

overwrite (write new data on top of existing data and thus erase the previously existing data)

access (obtain or retrieve from a storage device; as of information on a computer)

address (access or locate by address)

computer readable; machine readable (suitable for feeding directly into a computer)

stovepiped (of or relating to data stored in separate databases)

real-time (of or relating to computer systems that update information at the same rate they receive information)

in series; nonparallel; serial (of or relating to the sequential performance of multiple operations)

parallel (of or relating to the simultaneous performance of multiple operations)

interoperable (able to exchange and use information)

off-line (not connected to a computer network)

on-line (connected to a computer network or accessible by computer)

addressable (capable of being addressed)

emulate (imitate the function of (another system), as by modifying the hardware or the software)

write (record data on a computer)

ping (send a message from one computer to another to check whether it is reachable and active)

clear (rid of instructions or data)

unformatted capacity ((computer science) the total number of bytes on a disk including the space that will be required to format it)

formatted capacity ((computer science) the usable capacity of a disk drive; the amount of space that is left after the sector headings and boundary definitions and timing information have been added by formatting the disk)

capacity ((computer science) the amount of information (in bytes) that can be stored on a disk drive)

partition ((computer science) the part of a hard disk that is dedicated to a particular operating system or application and accessed as a single unit)

bad block ((computer science) a block (usually one sector) that cannot reliably hold data)

block ((computer science) a sector or group of sectors that function as the smallest data unit permitted)

check bit; parity; parity bit ((computer science) a bit that is used in an error detection procedure in which a 0 or 1 is added to each group of bits so that it will have either an odd number of 1's or an even number of 1's; e.g., if the parity is odd then any group of bits that arrives with an even number of 1's must contain an error)

million instructions per second; MIPS ((computer science) a unit for measuring the execution speed of a computer's CPU (but not the whole system))

teraflop; trillion floating point operations per second; megaflop; MFLOP; million floating point operations per second ((computer science) a unit for measuring the speed of a computer system)

time sharing ((computer science) the use of a central computer by many users simultaneously)

access time ((computer science) the interval between the time data is requested by the system and the time the data is provided by the drive)

iterate (run or be performed again)

scroll (move through text or graphics in order to display parts that do not fit on the screen)

rasterize (convert (an image) into pixels)

real time ((computer science) the time it takes for a process under computer control to occur)

command overhead; command processing overhead; command processing overhead time; overhead ((computer science) the processing time required by a device prior to the execution of a command)

latency; rotational latency ((computer science) the time it takes for a specific block of data on a data track to rotate around to the read/write head)

bits per second; bps ((computer science) the rate at which data is transferred (as by a modem))

track-to-track seek time ((computer science) the time it takes for a read/write head to move to an adjacent data track)

seek time ((computer science) the time it takes for a read/write head to move to a specific data track)

run-time ((computer science) the length of time it takes to execute a software program)

baud; baud rate ((computer science) a data transmission rate (bits/second) for modems)

security system ((computing) a system that enforces boundaries between computer networks)

disc; disk; magnetic disc; magnetic disk ((computer science) a memory device consisting of a flat disk covered with a magnetic coating on which information is stored)

magnetic core ((computer science) a doughnut-shaped magnet formerly used to store one bit of information in the main memory of a computer; now superseded by semiconductor memories)

electronic stylus; light pen ((computer science) a pointer that when pointed at a computer display senses whether or not the spot is illuminated)

interface; port ((computer science) computer circuit consisting of the hardware and associated circuitry that links one device with another (especially a computer and a hard disk drive or other peripherals))

index register ((computer science) a register used to determine the address of an operand)

computer hardware; hardware ((computer science) the mechanical, magnetic, electronic, and electrical components making up a computer system)

foreground ((computer science) a window for an active application)

firewall ((computing) a security system consisting of a combination of hardware and software that limits the exposure of a computer or computer network to attack from crackers; commonly used on local area networks that are connected to the internet)

file server ((computer science) a digital computer that provides workstations on a network with controlled access to shared resources)

EPROM; erasable programmable read-only memory ((computer science) a read-only memory chip that can be erased by ultraviolet light and programmed again with new data)

client; guest; node ((computer science) any computer that is hooked up to a computer network)

non-dedicated file server ((computer science) a file server that can be used simultaneously as a workstation)

screen saver ((computer science) a moving design that appears on a computer screen when there has been no input for a specified period of time)

router ((computer science) a device that forwards data packets between computer networks)

positioner; rotary actuator ((computer science) the actuator that moves a read/write head to the proper data track)

register ((computer science) memory device that is the part of computer memory that has a specific address and that is used to hold information of a specific kind)

head; read/write head ((computer science) a tiny electromagnetic coil and metal pole used to write and read magnetic patterns on a disk)

fixed storage; read-only memory; read-only storage; ROM ((computer science) memory whose contents can be accessed and read but cannot be changed)

RAM disk ((computer science) a virtual drive that is created by setting aside part of the random-access memory to use as if it were a group of sectors)

printer ((computer science) an output device that prints the results of data processing)

pel; picture element; pixel ((computer science) the smallest discrete component of an image or picture on a CRT screen (usually a colored dot))

computer peripheral; peripheral; peripheral device ((computer science) electronic equipment connected by cable to the CPU of a computer)

drive ((computer science) a device that writes data onto or reads data from a storage medium)

dongle ((computer science) an electronic device that must be attached to a computer in order for it to use protected software)

C.P.U.; central processing unit; central processor; CPU; mainframe; processor ((computer science) the part of a computer (a microprocessor chip) that does most of the data processing)

cache; memory cache ((computer science) RAM memory that is set aside as a specialized buffer storage that is continually updated; used to optimize data transfers between system elements with different characteristics)

bbs; bulletin board; bulletin board system; electronic bulletin board (a computer that is running software that allows users to leave messages and access information of general interest)

buffer; buffer storage; buffer store ((computer science) a part of RAM used for temporary storage of data that is waiting to be sent to a device; used to compensate for differences in the rate of flow of data between components of a computer system)

backup; computer backup ((computer science) a copy of a file or directory on a separate storage device)

background; desktop; screen background ((computer science) the area of the screen in graphical user interfaces against which icons and windows appear)

accumulator; accumulator register ((computer science) a register that has a built-in adder that adds an input number to the contents of the register)

access; memory access ((computer science) the operation of reading or writing stored information)

desktop publishing ((computer science) the use of microcomputers with graphics capacity to produce printed materials)

data encryption ((computer science) the encryption of data for security purposes)

computer; computing device; computing machine; data processor; electronic computer; information processing system (a machine for performing calculations automatically)

computer circuit (a circuit that is part of a computer)

display adapter; display adaptor ((computer science) an electronic device that converts information in memory to video output to a display)

disc drive; disk drive; hard drive; Winchester drive (computer hardware that holds and spins a magnetic or optical disk and reads and writes information on it)

disk controller ((computer science) a circuit or chip that translates commands into a form that can control a hard disk drive)

DIP switch; dual inline package switch ((computer science) one of a set of small on-off switches mounted in computer hardware; used in place of jumpers to configure the machine for a user)

dialog box; panel ((computer science) a small temporary window in a graphical user interface that appears in order to request information from the user; after the information has been provided the user dismisses the box with 'okay' or 'cancel')

dedicated file server ((computer science) a file server that can be used only as a file server)

cursor; pointer ((computer science) indicator consisting of a movable spot of light (an icon) on a visual display; moving it allows the user to point to commands or screen positions)

counter ((computer science) a register whose contents go through a regular series of states (usually states indicating consecutive integers))

command key; control key ((computer science) the key on a computer keyboard that is used (in combination with some other key) to type control characters)

computer network ((computer science) a network of computers)

allocation; storage allocation ((computer science) the assignment of particular areas of a magnetic disk to particular data or instructions)

host; server ((computer science) a computer that provides client stations with access to files and printers as shared resources to a computer network)

job ((computer science) a program application that may consist of several steps but is a single logical unit)

backup file ((computer science) a computer file dedicated to storing and updating computer backups)

computer file ((computer science) a file maintained in computer-readable form)

cascading menu; hierarchical menu; submenu (a secondary menu that appears while you are holding the cursor over an item on the primary menu)

computer menu; menu ((computer science) a list of options available to a computer user)

subdirectory ((computer science) a directory that is listed in another directory)

directory ((computer science) a listing of the files stored in memory (usually on a hard disk))

hard copy ((computer science) matter that is held in a computer and is typed or printed on paper)

soft copy ((computer science) matter that is in a form that a computer can store or display it on a computer screen)

dump ((computer science) a copy of the contents of a computer storage device; sometimes used in debugging programs)

core dump ((computer science) dump of the contents of the chief registers in the CPU; usually used for debugging)

binary file ((computer science) a computer file containing machine-readable information that must be read by an application; characters use all 8 bits of each byte)

main file; master file ((computer science) a computer file that is used as the authority in a given job and that is relatively permanent)

disambiguator ((computer science) a natural language processing application that tries to determine the intended meaning of a word or phrase by examining the linguistic context in which it is used)

computer program; computer programme; program; programme ((computer science) a sequence of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute)

operating system; OS ((computer science) software that controls the execution of computer programs and may provide various services)

computer software; package; software; software package; software program; software system ((computer science) written programs or procedures or rules and associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system and that are stored in read/write memory)

document; text file ((computer science) a computer file that contains text (and possibly formatting instructions) using seven-bit ASCII characters)

read-only file ((computer science) a file that you can read but cannot change)

output file ((computer science) a computer file that contains data that are the output of a device or program)

input data; input file ((computer science) a computer file that contains data that serve as input to a device or program)

detail file; transaction file ((computer science) a computer file containing relatively transient data about a particular data processing task)

disk file ((computer science) a computer file stored on a magnetic disk and identified by a unique label)

firmware; microcode ((computer science) coded instructions that are stored permanently in read-only memory)

ASCII character set ((computer science) 128 characters that make up the ASCII coding scheme)

interoperability ((computer science) the ability to exchange and use information (usually in a large heterogeneous network made up of several local area networks))

bits per inch; bpi (a measure of how densely information is packed on a storage medium)

execution speed ((computer science) the speed with which a computational device can execute instructions; measured in MIPS)

dithered color; dithered colour; nonsolid color; nonsolid colour (a color produced by a pattern of differently colored dots that together simulate the desired color)

reduced instruction set computer; reduced instruction set computing; RISC ((computer science) a kind of computer architecture that has a relatively small set of computer instructions that it can perform)

CISC; complex instruction set computer; complex instruction set computing ((computer science) a kind of computer architecture that has a large number of instructions hard coded into the CPU chip)

architecture; computer architecture ((computer science) the structure and organization of a computer's hardware or system software)

window ((computer science) a rectangular part of a computer screen that contains a display different from the rest of the screen)

virtual memory; virtual storage ((computer science) memory created by using the hard disk to simulate additional random-access memory; the addressable storage space available to the user of a computer system in which virtual addresses are mapped into real addresses)

data track; track ((computer science) one of the circular magnetic paths on a magnetic disk that serve as a guide for writing and reading data)

emulation ((computer science) technique of one machine obtaining the same results as another)

terminal emulation ((computer science) having a computer act exactly like a terminal)

American Standard Code for Information Interchange; ASCII ((computer science) a code for information exchange between computers made by different companies; a string of 7 binary digits represents each character; used in most microcomputers)

address; computer address ((computer science) the code that identifies where a piece of information is stored)

code; computer code ((computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions)

computer file name; computer filename; file name; filename ((computer science) the name given to a computer file in order to distinguish it from other files; may contain an extension that indicates the type of file)

command prompt; prompt ((computer science) a symbol that appears on the computer screen to indicate that the computer is ready to receive a command)

e-mail; electronic mail; email ((computer science) a system of world-wide electronic communication in which a computer user can compose a message at one terminal that is generated at the recipient's terminal when he logs in)

logic (the system of operations performed by a computer that underlies the machine's representation of logical operations)

information theory ((computer science) a statistical theory dealing with the limits and efficiency of information processing)

descriptor (a piece of stored information that is used to identify an item in an information storage and retrieval system)

computer simulation; simulation ((computer science) the technique of representing the real world by a computer program)

shift register ((computer science) register in which all bits can be shifted one or more positions to the left or to the right)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "computing"):

AI; artificial intelligence (the branch of computer science that deal with writing computer programs that can solve problems creatively)

Holonyms ("computing" is a part of...):

informatics; information processing; information science; IP (the sciences concerned with gathering, manipulating, storing, retrieving, and classifying recorded information)

Sense 2computing [BACK TO TOP]


The procedure of calculating; determining something by mathematical or logical methods

Classified under:

Nouns denoting acts or actions


calculation; computation; computing

Hypernyms ("computing" is a kind of...):

procedure; process (a particular course of action intended to achieve a result)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "computing"):

transposition ((mathematics) the transfer of a quantity from one side of an equation to the other along with a change of sign)

number crunching (performing complex and lengthy numerical calculations)

mathematical operation; mathematical process; operation ((mathematics) calculation by mathematical methods)

recalculation (the act of calculating again (usually to eliminate errors or to include additional data))

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