Think of an interface as a "face-to-face," a place where things, or people, or people and things (like you and your computer) meet. Any common boundary or area of convergence can be an interface.

Used as a verb, interface means to merge or mingle, bonding and synthesizing by communicating and working together. The word interface is comprised of the prefix inter, which means "between," and face. In the 1960's, when computers first began to be commonly used, the word became familiar and now can simply mean “to meet.” Although "Shall we interface over coffee?" still feels a bit awkward.

Definitions of interface
  1. noun
    (chemistry) a surface forming a common boundary between two things (two objects or liquids or chemical phases)
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    oil-water interface
    an interface forming the boundary between the non-miscible liquids oil and water
    type of:
    the extended two-dimensional outer boundary of a three-dimensional object
  2. noun
    (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)
    synonyms: port
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    parallel interface, parallel port
    an interface between a computer and a printer where the computer sends multiple bits of information to the printer simultaneously
    serial port
    an interface (commonly used for modems and mice and some printers) that transmits data a bit at a time
    SCSI, small computer system interface
    interface consisting of a standard port between a computer and its peripherals that is used in some computers
    type of:
    computer circuit
    a circuit that is part of a computer
  3. noun
    the overlap where two theories or phenomena affect each other or have links with each other
    “the interface between chemistry and biology”
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    type of:
    convergence, intersection, overlap
    a representation of common ground between theories or phenomena
  4. noun
    (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
    synonyms: user interface
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    CLI, command line interface
    a user interface in which you type commands instead of choosing them from a menu or selecting an icon
    GUI, graphical user interface
    a user interface based on graphics (icons and pictures and menus) instead of text; uses a mouse as well as a keyboard as an input device
    type of:
    computer program, computer programme, program, programme
    (computer science) a sequence of instructions that a computer can interpret and execute
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘interface'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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