Unless you're living in a cave cut off from humanity, you've seen these electronic machines with a screen, keyboard, and brain that stores massive amounts of information. Computers are ubiquitous in offices, airports, schools...even caves cut off from humanity.

Though computers are a thoroughly modern invention, the root word that gave them their name dates all the way back to Roman times. Tech geeks dreamed up computer by embellishing the English word compute, which means to calculate. Compute, in turn, comes from Latin com- "with" and putare "to reckon." So, your computer is a device that helps you reckon — or think. It also comes in handy for email and every type of entertainment imaginable.

Definitions of computer

n a machine for performing calculations automatically

computing device, computing machine, data processor, electronic computer, information processing system
show 22 types...
hide 22 types...
analog computer, analogue computer
a computer that represents information by variable quantities (e.g., positions or voltages)
digital computer
a computer that represents information by numerical (binary) digits
home computer
a computer intended for use in the home
client, guest, node
(computer science) any computer that is hooked up to a computer network
number cruncher
a computer capable of performing a large number of mathematical operations per second
pari-mutuel machine, totalisator, totaliser, totalizator, totalizer
computer that registers bets and divides the total amount bet among those who won
a computer for controlling antiaircraft fire that computes the position of an aircraft at the instant of a shell's arrival
host, server
(computer science) a computer that provides client stations with access to files and printers as shared resources to a computer network
Turing machine
a hypothetical computer with an infinitely long memory tape
internet site, site, web site, website
a computer connected to the internet that maintains a series of web pages on the World Wide Web
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
differential analyzer
an analog computer designed to solve differential equations
file server
(computer science) a digital computer that provides workstations on a network with controlled access to shared resources
mainframe, mainframe computer
a large digital computer serving 100-400 users and occupying a special air-conditioned room
a digital computer of medium size
a computer that uses two or more processing units under integrated control
PC, microcomputer, personal computer
a small digital computer based on a microprocessor and designed to be used by one person at a time
slide rule, slipstick
analog computer consisting of a handheld instrument used for rapid calculations; have been replaced by pocket calculators
von Neumann machine
any digital computer incorporating the ideas of stored programs and serial counters that were proposed in 1946 by von Neumann and his colleagues
a desktop digital computer that is conventionally considered to be more powerful than a microcomputer
chat room, chatroom
a site on the internet where a number of users can communicate in real time (typically one dedicated to a particular topic)
portal, portal site
a site that the owner positions as an entrance to other sites on the internet
Type of:
any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks

n an expert at calculation (or at operating calculating machines)

calculator, estimator, figurer, reckoner
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
a person who adds numbers
number cruncher
someone able to perform complex and lengthy calculations
actuary, statistician
someone versed in the collection and interpretation of numerical data (especially someone who uses statistics to calculate insurance premiums)
a person who subtracts numbers
someone who conducts a statistical survey
Type of:
a person with special knowledge or ability who performs skillfully