Computer vocabulary: 70 basic Computer terms you must know
Posted on : 16-11-2018 Posted by : Admin

Today’s computer world included loads and loads of terminology. Often we use special terms when talking about computers, and it is relatively shocking how often these terms are used wrongly. So here we bring to the list of 70 most used computer terms with neat definitions. So what are you waiting for let us dig in..... to study and score.

In the search bar below just type the computer term that you are searching.... to see its definition


Term Definition
Active matrix LCD panel

High-resolution color display for laptop computers

Application software

Computer programs designed to directly deal with solving the user’s problems. Examples would include programs for accounting, word processing, financial analysis, computer games, etc.

Backup The act of making a second (backup) copy of the data stored on a disk or other storage device, to safeguard against loss of data if there is damage to the primary copy
BASIC Abbreviation for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. It is a general-purpose programming language, often used in computers
Binary system Number system, as used by computers, representing all numbers as combinations of digits 0 and 1
Baud rate

A measurement of the speed at which data are transmitted between two computers, the number of signal per second being transmitted.

Bit Smallest unit in a computer's memory
Bug Fault in a computer system or program
Byte Standard unit, equivalent to eight bits used to measure a computer's memory
Cathode ray tube (CRT)

Another term for display screen.


Abbreviation for Compact Disk-Read Only Memory. It is a small disk device capable of storing extremely large amounts of data, but which cannot be erased and reused for storing other data (the reason it is referred to as “read only”).

COBOL A computer language- Common Business Oriented language

A single digit, letter of the alphabet, or other symbol. Usually represented inside a computer by one byte.


Common term for very small silicon wafers upon which electronic circuits have been created for use in computers. Used for microprocessors, electronic memory, and other internal computer electronic components.

Communications program

Computer program containing the instructions that allow a computer to send data to and receive data from another computer.

CPU Central Processing Unit
- the core of a computer, performing the logical and arithmetical Operations 
on the data
Cursor A block, underline character, arrow, or other symbol used on a display screen to indicate a particular location on the screen

The symbols, writing, words, or other items used to represent facts, objects, events, or ideas. Accounting records and yield measurements are two examples of data.

Data base management system (DBMS)

General-purpose computer program that allows data to be stored, manipulated, organized, and retrieved in some logical manner. Sometimes referred to as an “electronic filing program.”

Disk Information storage device. condidting of a flat rotating circular disc with magnetic coating.
Disk drive Device for recording onto and reading from one type of computer storage disk—either a diskette, or hard disk. Varying sizes and types of disks are not interchangeable among disk drives.

 A 3 1/2-inch or 5 1/4-inch floppy disk.

Display screen  Usually a television-like screen used for displaying computer output, however, may also be an LCD or other device.
Documentation The printed operating instructions that accompany a computer or software.
Dot matrix printer

Printer that forms characters by selectively coloring or inking dots in a grid or matrix of dots. Characters thus printed often appear to consist of rows of dots.

Electronic worksheet or spreadsheet

A general purpose computer program that operates like a large columnar pad of paper in the computer’s memory, which can do calculations on data typed onto the sheet. Allows data and formulas to be typed in, edited, calculated, and printed out. Often used for budgeting and forecasting, as a “what if” planning tool.


The act or result of putting data into a computer.


A type of network interface card that connects an individual computer to a network. Computers on the Internet that use the TCP/IP protocols are frequently connected to the Internet over an Ethernet link.

Expert system

A computer program for making a recommendation, which tailors its recommendation to the user’s situation by following a variable path of reasoning dependent upon data given it by the user. One example would be a program to recommend grain marketing strategies based on the user’s risk and profit goals, availability of storage, proximity to markets, etc.

FAX modem

A device to connect computer to telephone line to send data FAX messages.


A collection of related data existing upon a computer storage device.

Format Arrange data in a form that is usable by a computer
Floppy disk Flexible plastic disk coated with a magnetic material, upon which computer programs and data may be stored. Usually from 3 to 8 inches in diameter.
FORTAN Formulated Translation-An Algebraic computer language
GIGO Garbage Inc. Garbage In Garbage Out. A formula servings as a reminder that a computer is only as good as its users.
Hacker A person who gains unauthorised access to a computer system
Hard disk A type of computer storage disk, usually consisting of a metal platter coated with a magnetic material. Capable of storing larger amounts of data than floppy disks.

The physical parts of a computer.


The result of processing, manipulating, and organizing data in a way that adds to the knowledge of the person receiving it.


The data put into a computer.

Ink-jet printer

A low-cost, near laser quality printer that uses liquid ink.


Typewriter-like computer input device.

Kilobyte (K)

 A unit for measuring computer memory and storage capacity, roughly equal to 1,000 characters or bytes of data. Technically, one K is 1,024 bytes.

Laser printer

 A fast, high-quality printer.


Abbreviation for Liquid Crystal Display. A technology popular in watches and calculators for displaying information, which also may be used for computer display screens—especially in portable computers.


Abbreviation for Local area network


One million bytes, or 1,000 kilobytes.

Memory Term usually referring to the electronic memory circuits of a computer; however, sometimes also extended to imply all memory and storage devices used by a computer.

Menu A list of choices displayed on a computer display screen, from which the user may choose a program action.

Microcomputer Any computer using a microprocessor as its central processing unit.

Minicomputer Term for computers intermediate in processing power between microcomputers and mainframe computers.

Modem A device that allows a PC to communicate and exchange information with other modem-equipped computers via telephone lines. The current standard for modems is 56k, which allows you to transfer data at up to 56,000 bits per second.

Monitor A display screen.

Mouse Computer input device consisting of a small box having one or more buttons on top, for giving instructions to a computer.


Operating system program popular among users of the IBM-PC and compatible computers.

Operating system

 A program or collection of programs that coordinates and controls the various devices making up a computer system.

Output The act or result of printing or displaying information generated by a computer.
PCMCIA An international association that defines specifications for devices.
Peripherals The add-on hardware devices used in conjunction with a computer, printer, display screen, disk drives, etc.
Printer Device that transfers computer output onto paper.
Program A set of pre-defined commands or instructions that tells a computer how to go about solving a problem or doing some job.
Random-access memory (RAM)

Electronic memory circuits in a computer that may be both read from and written to, and which lose the data they contain whenever electricity is turned off to the computer. Sometimes referred to as volatile memory.

Read-only memory (ROM) A memory device (usually electronic memory circuits) that may only be read by a computer. The data stored in ROM memory is permanent (non-volatile) and is not lost when electricity is turned off to the computer.
SCSI Abbreviation for  Small computer systems interface (SCSI) Used to connect hard drives and tape drives to computer.
Storage device Any device upon which a computer may store data in permanent form. Data is not lost from a storage device when the electricity to a computer is turned off, as is the case with electronic memory. Sometimes called non-volatile memory.
Surge protector Electronic device for protecting a computer or other electronic device from the harmful effects of sharp surges of voltage in electric power lines.
Template A pre-programmed set of instructions that may be used with an electronic worksheet or spreadsheet program for doing a particular job. Akin to a computer program.
Utility software Computer programs for handling the organizational and “housekeeping” chores in running a computer, such as deleting files of old data, copying disks, printing a directory of the information stored on a disk, etc.
WAN Wide area network
Word processing Using a computer to accept, edit, organize, and print out text.


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