A desktop is the surface of a desk, the part you use for writing or resting your laptop on. Particularly tidy people might need to clean the entire desktop before getting any work done.

Your literal desktop — the top or surface of your desk — inspired the name for your computer desktop, the home screen on which you organize icons representing your files. When you're using a computer, you generally start from your desktop, opening windows or clicking on a file. When desktop is used as an adjective, it typically means "meant to be kept and used on your desk," like a desktop computer or a desktop scanner.

Definitions of desktop

n the top of a desk

Type of:
top, top side, upper side, upside
the highest or uppermost side of anything

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

background, screen background
Type of:
CRT screen, screen
the display that is electronically created on the surface of the large end of a cathode-ray tube

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