system

A system is a group of things that connect and form some kind of coherent whole. All the individual buses and the separate routes they take through your city are together called a bus system.

Any time various separate things act together in some organized way, you can call the entire group of interconnected things a system. Your veins, arteries, and heart together make up your body's circulatory system, and the group of planets which rotate around the sun are called a solar system. The Greek word systema, or "organized whole," is where system originates.

Definitions of system
  1. noun
    a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole
    “a vast system of production and distribution and consumption keep the country going”
    synonyms: scheme
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 43 types...
    hide 43 types...
    language system
    a system of linguistic units or elements used in a particular language
    judicatory, judicature, judicial system, judiciary
    the system of law courts that administer justice and constitute the judicial branch of government
    economic system, economy
    the system of production and distribution and consumption
    ecosystem
    a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment
    social organisation, social organization, social structure, social system, structure
    the people in a society considered as a system organized by a characteristic pattern of relationships
    dragnet
    a system of coordinated measures for apprehending (criminals or other individuals)
    machinery
    a system of means and activities whereby a social institution functions
    network, web
    an interconnected system of things or people
    nonlinear system
    a system whose performance cannot be described by equations of the first degree
    subsystem
    a system that is part of some larger system
    organism
    a system considered analogous in structure or function to a living body
    syntax
    a systematic orderly arrangement
    body
    a collection of particulars considered as a system
    shebang
    an entire system; used in the phrase `the whole shebang'
    solar system
    the sun with the celestial bodies that revolve around it in its gravitational field
    water system
    a river and all of its tributaries
    root system, rootage
    a developed system of roots
    monolith
    a system or organized structure that is large, uniform, and powerful
    media
    systems of mass communications (including publishing, broadcast news, and the internet) considered collectively
    reticulum
    any fine network (especially one in the body composed of cells or blood vessels)
    accentual system, prosodic system
    the system of accentuation used in a particular language
    morphophonemic system
    the morphophonemics of a particular language
    phonemic system
    the system of phonemes recognized in a language
    phonologic system, phonological system
    the system of phones used in a particular language
    syllabicity
    the pattern of syllable formation in a particular language
    tense system
    a system of tenses used in a particular language
    feudal system, feudalism
    the social system that developed in Europe in the 8th century; vassals were protected by lords who they had to serve in war
    patriarchate, patriarchy
    a form of social organization in which a male is the family head and title is traced through the male line
    matriarchate, matriarchy
    a form of social organization in which a female is the family head and title is traced through the female line
    meritocracy
    a form of social system in which power goes to those with superior intellects
    Federal Judiciary
    the judiciary of the United States which is responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws
    industrialism
    an economic system built on large industries rather than on agriculture or craftsmanship
    free enterprise, free market, laissez-faire economy, market economy, private enterprise
    an economy that relies chiefly on market forces to allocate goods and resources and to determine prices
    mixed economy
    an economic system that combines private and state enterprises
    non-market economy
    an economy that is not a market economy
    state capitalism
    an economic system that is primarily capitalistic but there is some degree of government ownership of the means of production
    state socialism
    an economic system in which the government owns most means of production but some degree of private capitalism is allowed
    pluralism
    a social organization in which diversity of racial or religious or ethnic or cultural groups is tolerated
    class structure
    the organization of classes within a society
    segregation, separatism
    a social system that provides separate facilities for minority groups
    espionage network
    a network of spies
    old boy network
    an exclusive informal network linking members of a social class or profession or organization in order to provide connections and information and favors (especially in business or politics)
    support system
    a network of facilities and people who interact and remain in informal communication for mutual assistance; a network that enables you to live in a certain style
    type of:
    group, grouping
    any number of entities (members) considered as a unit
  2. noun
    instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity
    “he bought a new stereo system
    “the system consists of a motor and a small computer”
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 63 types...
    hide 63 types...
    audio system, sound system
    a system of electronic equipment for recording or reproducing sound
    communication system
    a system for communicating
    ADP system, ADPS, automatic data processing system, computer system, computing system
    a system of one or more computers and associated software with common storage
    containment
    (physics) a system designed to prevent the accidental release of radioactive material from a reactor
    control system
    a system for controlling the operation of another system
    data system, information system
    system consisting of the network of all communication channels used within an organization
    drainage system
    a system of watercourses or drains for carrying off excess water
    exhaust, exhaust system
    system consisting of the parts of an engine through which burned gases or steam are discharged
    EDS, explosive detection system
    a rapid automatic system to detect plastic explosives in passengers' luggage using X-ray technology and computers; designed for use in airports
    ETD, explosive trace detection
    a system for screening luggage in airports; an agent passes a swab around or inside luggage and then runs the swab through a machine that can detect trace amounts of explosives
    guidance device, guidance system
    a system of equipment for automatically guiding the path of a vehicle (especially a missile)
    assemblage, hookup
    a system of components assembled together for a particular purpose
    inertial guidance system, inertial navigation system
    a system to control a plane or spacecraft; uses inertial forces
    lockage
    a system of locks in a canal or waterway
    labyrinth, maze, warren
    complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost
    mechanical system
    a system of elements that interact on mechanical principles
    navigational system
    a system that provides information useful in determining the position and course of a ship or aircraft
    electronic network, network
    (electronics) a system of interconnected electronic components or circuits
    network
    a system of intersecting lines or channels
    propulsion system
    a system that provides a propelling or driving force
    resonator
    any system that resonates
    scaffolding, staging
    a system of scaffolds
    security system
    (computing) a system that enforces boundaries between computer networks
    selsyn, synchro
    a system consisting of a generator and a motor so connected that the motor will assume the same relative position as the generator; the generator and the motor are synchronized
    shipboard system
    a system designed to work as a coherent entity on board a naval ship
    solar thermal system
    a system that converts sunlight into heat
    sprinkler system
    a system for extinguishing fires; water from a network of overhead pipes is released through nozzles that open automatically with the rise in temperature
    synchromesh
    an automotive system for shifting gears in which the gears revolve at the same speed and so shift smoothly
    anti-submarine rocket
    a shipboard system to fire rockets at submarines
    backup system
    a computer system for making backups
    basic point defense missile system
    a shipboard missile system
    closed loop, closed-loop system
    a control system with a feedback loop that is active
    computer network
    (computer science) a network of computers
    early warning system
    a network of radar installations designed to detect enemy missiles or aircraft while there is still time to intercept them
    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
    fuel injection, fuel injection system
    mechanical system to inject atomized fuel directly into the cylinders of an internal-combustion engine; avoids the need for a carburetor
    GPS, Global Positioning System
    a navigational system involving satellites and computers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by computing the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver
    ground control
    a communication system for sending continuous radio messages to an airplane pilot who is making a ground-controlled approach to landing
    intercom, intercommunication system
    a communication system linking different rooms within a building or ship etc
    JDAM, Joint Direct Attack Munition
    a pinpoint bomb guidance device that can be strapped to a gravity bomb thus converting dumb bombs into smart bombs
    linkage
    a mechanical system of rods or springs or pivots that transmits power or motion
    force feed, force-feed lubricating system, lubricating system, pressure feed, pressure-feed lubricating system
    mechanical system of lubricating internal combustion engines in which a pump forces oil into the engine bearings
    naval tactical data system
    a shipboard system for collecting and displaying tactical data
    omnidirectional radio range, omnidirectional range, omnirange
    a navigational system consisting of a network of radio beacons that provide aircraft with information about exact position and bearing
    platform
    the combination of a particular computer and a particular operating system
    assembly line, line, production line
    mechanical system in a factory whereby an article is conveyed through sites at which successive operations are performed on it
    P.A., P.A. system, PA, PA system, public address system
    an electronic amplification system used as a communication system in public areas
    radio, wireless
    a communication system based on broadcasting electromagnetic waves
    link, radio link
    a two-way radio communication system (usually microwave); part of a more extensive telecommunication network
    recording system
    audio system for recoding sound
    reproducer
    an audio system that can reproduce and amplify signals to produce sound
    reseau
    a network of fine lines used by astronomers as a reference for measurements on star photographs
    crosshairs, graticule, reticle, reticule
    a network of fine lines, dots, cross hairs, or wires in the focal plane of the eyepiece of an optical instrument
    reticulation
    an arrangement resembling a net or network
    servo, servomechanism, servosystem
    control system that converts a small mechanical motion into one requiring much greater power; may include a negative feedback system
    ship-towed long-range acoustic detection system
    a shipboard system consisting of an acoustic detection system that is towed behind the ship
    information superhighway, superhighway
    an extensive electronic network (such as the internet) used for the rapid transfer of sound and video and graphics in digital form
    surface-to-air missile system
    the shipboard system that fires missiles at aircraft
    suspension, suspension system
    a mechanical system of springs or shock absorbers connecting the wheels and axles to the chassis of a wheeled vehicle
    target acquisition system
    a shipboard system for the detection and identification and location of a target with enough detail to permit effective weapon employment
    telecom equipment, telecom system, telecommunication equipment, telecommunication system
    a communication system for communicating at a distance
    phone system, telephone system
    a communication system that transmits sound between distant points
    ventilating system, ventilation, ventilation system
    a mechanical system in a building that provides fresh air
    type of:
    instrumentality, instrumentation
    an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end
  3. noun
    the living body considered as made up of interdependent components forming a unified whole
    see moresee less
    type of:
    live body
    the body of a living animal or person
  4. noun
    a group of physiologically or anatomically related organs or parts
    “the body has a system of organs for digestion”
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 37 types...
    hide 37 types...
    articulatory system
    the system of joints in the body
    digestive system, gastrointestinal system, systema alimentarium, systema digestorium
    the system that makes food absorbable into the body
    endocrine system
    the system of glands that produce endocrine secretions that help to control bodily metabolic activity
    venation, venous blood system
    (zoology) the system of venous blood vessels in an animal
    immune system
    a system (including the thymus and bone marrow and lymphoid tissues) that protects the body from foreign substances and pathogenic organisms by producing the immune response
    integumentary system
    the skin and its appendages
    RES, reticuloendothelial system
    a widely distributed system consisting of all the cells able to ingest bacteria or colloidal particles etc, except for certain white blood cells
    MPS, mononuclear phagocyte system, system of macrophages
    a widely distributed system of free and fixed macrophages derived from bone marrow
    muscle system, muscular structure, musculature
    the muscular system of an organism
    musculoskeletal system
    the system of muscles and tendons and ligaments and bones and joints and associated tissues that move the body and maintain its form
    nervous system, systema nervosum
    the sensory and control apparatus consisting of a network of nerve cells
    CNS, central nervous system, systema nervosum centrale
    the portion of the vertebrate nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord
    peripheral nervous system, systema nervosum periphericum
    the section of the nervous system lying outside the brain and spinal cord
    genital system, reproductive system
    organs and tissues involved in the production and maturation of gametes and in their union and subsequent development as offspring
    apparatus urogenitalis, genitourinary apparatus, genitourinary system, systema urogenitale, urinary apparatus, urinary system, urogenital apparatus, urogenital system
    the system that includes all organs involved in reproduction and in the formation and voidance of urine
    respiratory system, systema respiratorium
    the system for taking in oxygen and giving off carbon dioxide; in terrestrial animals this is accomplished by breathing
    sensory system
    the body's system of sense organs
    tract
    a system of body parts that together serve some particular purpose
    vascular system
    the vessels and tissue that carry or circulate fluids such as blood or lymph or sap through the body of an animal or plant
    frame, skeletal system, skeleton, systema skeletale
    the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal
    water vascular system
    system of fluid-filled tubes used by echinoderms in locomotion and feeding and respiration
    auditory system
    the sensory system for hearing
    visual system
    the sensory system for vision
    diaphragm, midriff
    (anatomy) a muscular partition separating the abdominal and thoracic cavities; functions in respiration
    vestibular apparatus, vestibular system
    organs mediating the labyrinthine sense; concerned with equilibrium
    portal system
    system of veins that carry blood from the abdominal organs to the liver
    lymphatic system, systema lymphaticum
    the interconnected system of spaces and vessels between body tissues and organs by which lymph circulates throughout the body
    sympathetic nervous system
    originates in the thoracic regions of the spinal cord; opposes physiological effects of the parasympathetic: reduces digestive secretions; speeds the heart; contracts blood vessels
    parasympathetic, parasympathetic nervous system
    originates in the brain stem and lower part of the spinal cord; opposes physiological effects of the sympathetic nervous system: stimulates digestive secretions; slows the heart; constricts the pupils; dilates blood vessels
    airway, respiratory tract
    the passages through which air enters and leaves the body
    urinary tract
    the organs and tubes involved in the production and excretion of urine
    cardiovascular system, circulatory system
    the organs and tissues involved in circulating blood and lymph through the body
    female reproductive system
    the reproductive system of females
    male reproductive system
    the reproductive system of males
    esophagus, gorge, gullet, oesophagus
    the passage between the pharynx and the stomach
    endoskeleton
    the internal skeleton; bony and cartilaginous structure (especially of vertebrates)
    exoskeleton
    the exterior protective or supporting structure or shell of many animals (especially invertebrates) including bony or horny parts such as nails or scales or hoofs
    type of:
    body part
    any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity
  5. noun
    (physical chemistry) a sample of matter in which substances in different phases are in equilibrium
    “in a static system oil cannot be replaced by water on a surface”
    “a system generating hydrogen peroxide”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    matter
    that which has mass and occupies space
  6. noun
    an ordered manner; orderliness by virtue of being methodical and well organized
    “we can't do it unless we establish some system around here”
    synonyms: organisation, organization
    see moresee less
    type of:
    methodicalness, orderliness
    the quality of appreciating method and system
  7. noun
    a complex of methods or rules governing behavior
    “they have to operate under a system they oppose”
    “that language has a complex system for indicating gender”
    synonyms: system of rules
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 35 types...
    hide 35 types...
    accounting
    a system that provides quantitative information about finances
    discipline
    a system of rules of conduct or method of practice
    frame, frame of reference
    a system of assumptions and standards that sanction behavior and give it meaning
    gambling system
    a system of rules for placing bets that is believed to lead to winning
    government
    (government) the system or form by which a community or other political unit is governed
    honor system
    a system of conduct in which participants are trusted not to take unfair advantage of others
    logic, logical system, system of logic
    a system of reasoning
    merit system
    the system of employing and promoting civil servants on the basis of ability
    point system
    a system of evaluation based on awarding points according to rules
    spoils system
    the system of employing and promoting civil servants who are friends and supporters of the group in power
    organon
    a system of principles for philosophic or scientific investigations; an instrument for acquiring knowledge
    program, programme
    a system of projects or services intended to meet a public need
    theosophy
    a system of belief based on mystical insight into the nature of God and the soul
    anthroposophy
    a system of beliefs and practices based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner; it claims to integrate the practical and psychological in child-centered education
    logic
    the system of operations performed by a computer that underlies the machine's representation of logical operations
    theological system, theology
    a particular system or school of religious beliefs and teachings
    ethic, ethical code
    a system of principles governing morality and acceptable conduct
    vocabulary
    the system of techniques or symbols serving as a means of expression (as in arts or crafts)
    Aristotelian logic
    the syllogistic logic of Aristotle as developed by Boethius in the Middle Ages
    defence policy, defence program, defense policy, defense program
    a program for defending a country against its enemies
    educational program
    a program for providing education
    rehabilitation program
    a program for restoring someone to good health
    space program
    a technological program intended to explore outer space
    Superfund, Superfund program
    the federal government's program to locate and investigate and clean up the worst uncontrolled and abandoned toxic waste sites nationwide; administered by the Environmental Protection Agency
    tax policy, tax program
    a program for setting taxes
    works program
    a program to provide jobs on public works paid for by government funds
    Cabala, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabbala, Kabbalah, Qabbala, Qabbalah
    an esoteric theosophy of rabbinical origin based on the Hebrew scriptures and developed between the 7th and 18th centuries
    formal logic, mathematical logic, symbolic logic
    any logical system that abstracts the form of statements away from their content in order to establish abstract criteria of consistency and validity
    Christian theology
    the teachings of Christian churches
    liberation theology
    a form of Christian theology (developed by South American Roman Catholics) that emphasizes social and political liberation as the anticipation of ultimate salvation
    natural theology
    a theology that holds that knowledge of God can be acquired by human reason without the aid of divine revelation
    double standard
    an ethical or moral code that applies more strictly to one group than to another
    balance of international payments, balance of payments
    a system of recording all of a country's economic transactions with the rest of the world over a period of one year
    current account
    that part of the balance of payments recording a nation's exports and imports of goods and services and transfer payments
    entitlement
    a government program that provides benefits to an eligible group
    type of:
    method
    a way of doing something, especially a systematic way; implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps)
  8. noun
    an organized structure for arranging or classifying
    “he tried to understand their system of classification”
    synonyms: arrangement, organisation, organization
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 36 types...
    hide 36 types...
    classification system
    a system for classifying things
    contrivance
    an artificial or unnatural or obviously contrived arrangement of details or parts etc.
    coordinate system, frame of reference, reference frame, reference system
    a system that uses coordinates to establish position
    data structure
    (computer science) the organization of data (and its storage allocations in a computer)
    design, plan
    an arrangement scheme
    distribution, statistical distribution
    (statistics) an arrangement of values of a variable showing their observed or theoretical frequency of occurrence
    genetic map
    graphical representation of the arrangement of genes on a chromosome
    kinship system
    (anthropology) the system of social relationships that constitute kinship in a particular culture, including the terminology that is used and the reciprocal obligations that are entailed
    lattice
    an arrangement of points or particles or objects in a regular periodic pattern in 2 or 3 dimensions
    living arrangement
    an arrangement to allow people (or ideas) to coexist
    ontology
    (computer science) a rigorous and exhaustive organization of some knowledge domain that is usually hierarchical and contains all the relevant entities and their relations
    calendar
    a system of timekeeping that defines the beginning and length and divisions of the year
    Dewey decimal classification, Dewey decimal system, decimal system of classification
    a system used by libraries to classify nonfictional publications into subject categories; the subject is indicated by a three-digit numeral and further specification is given by numerals following a decimal point; publications are shelved by number
    Cartesian coordinate system
    a coordinate system for which the coordinates of a point are its distances from a set perpendicular lines that intersect at the origin of the system
    equidistribution
    a flat distribution having equal frequencies of occurrence
    configuration, constellation
    an arrangement of parts or elements
    Bravais lattice, crystal lattice, space lattice
    a 3-dimensional geometric arrangement of the atoms or molecules or ions composing a crystal
    hierarchical data structure, hierarchical structure
    a structure of data having several levels arranged in a treelike structure
    hierarchical classification system
    a classification system where entries are arranged based on some hierarchical structure
    file system, filing system
    a system of classifying into files (usually arranged alphabetically)
    grouping, pigeonholing
    a system for classifying things into groups
    rating system, scoring system
    a system of classifying according to quality or merit or amount
    ABO blood group system, ABO group, ABO system
    a classification system for the antigens of human blood; used in blood transfusion therapy; four groups are A and B and AB and O
    layout
    a plan or design of something that is laid out
    snare, trap
    something (often something deceptively attractive) that catches you unawares
    inertial frame, inertial reference frame
    a coordinate system in which Newton's first law of motion is valid
    space-time, space-time continuum
    the four-dimensional coordinate system (3 dimensions of space and 1 of time) in which physical events are located
    frequency distribution
    a distribution of observed frequencies of occurrence of the values of a variable
    Gaussian distribution, normal distribution
    a theoretical distribution with finite mean and variance
    Poisson distribution
    a theoretical distribution that is a good approximation to the binomial distribution when the probability is small and the number of trials is large
    sample, sample distribution, sampling
    items selected at random from a population and used to test hypotheses about the population
    Bernoulli distribution, binomial distribution
    a theoretical distribution of the number of successes in a finite set of independent trials with a constant probability of success
    hotel plan, meal plan
    a plan and a room rate for providing a room and meals to guests at a hotel
    lunar calendar
    a calendar based on lunar cycles
    lunisolar calendar
    a calendar based on both lunar and solar cycles
    solar calendar
    a calendar based on solar cycles
    type of:
    structure
    the complex composition of knowledge as elements and their combinations
  9. noun
    a procedure or process for obtaining an objective
    “they had to devise a system that did not depend on cooperation”
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 9 types...
    hide 9 types...
    credit system
    a system for allowing people to purchase things on credit
    legal system
    a system for interpreting and enforcing the laws
    pricing system
    a system for setting prices on goods or services
    promotion system
    a system for advancing participants to higher-status positions
    bail
    the legal system that allows an accused person to be temporarily released from custody (usually on condition that a sum of money guarantees their appearance at trial)
    jury system
    a legal system for determining the facts at issue in a law suit
    patent system
    a legal system for protecting the rights of inventors
    tax system
    a legal system for assessing and collecting taxes
    electoral system, voting system
    a legal system for making democratic choices
    type of:
    plan of action
    a plan for actively doing something
Word Family