Skip to main content
Select Source:

desktop

desktop (desktop computer, worktop)
1. An entire computer that sits on a desk or table, a PC or Macintosh being examples. It usually consists of: a display, either color or monochrome; a system box containing the processor, memory, disk drives, power supply, and communication interfaces; a keyboard; a pointing device, often a mouse. Although the desktop computer is relatively cumbersome compared with a notebook computer of equivalent power, it currently has a significantly better power/performance ratio.

2. Part of a graphical user interface which invites the user to imagine that some or all of the screen is an actual desktop on which actions analogous to those occurring on a physical desktop can be carried out. These include the opening and closing of folders, the entry and modification of text, the disposal of unwanted material into a wastebasket, and the use of communication systems analogous to telephones and mailboxes. The analogy is supposed to make life easier for office workers unused to computers.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"desktop." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"desktop." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/desktop

"desktop." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/desktop

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

desktop

desk·top / ˈdeskˌtäp/ • n. the working surface of a desk. ∎  [as adj.] denoting a piece of equipment such as a microcomputer that is suitable for use at an ordinary desk: a desktop machine. ∎  a desktop computer. ∎  the working area of a computer screen regarded as a representation of a notional desktop and containing icons representing items such as files and a wastebasket.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"desktop." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"desktop." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/desktop-0

"desktop." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/desktop-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

desktop

desktopatop, bop, chop, clop, cop, crop, dop, drop, Dunlop, estop, flop, fop, glop, hop, intercrop, knop, kop, lop, mop, op, plop, pop, prop, screw-top, shop, slop, sop, stop, strop, swap, tiptop, top, underprop, whop, wop •co-op • bebop • sweatshop • carhop •hedgehop • bellhop • hiphop • flipflop •clip-clop • bellyflop • megaflop •gigaflop • teraflop • rollmop • coin-op •lollipop • backdrop • airdrop •sharecrop • namedrop • raindrop •eavesdrop • Ribbentrop • Winthrop •agitprop • outcrop • snowdrop •stonecrop • turboprop • dewdrop •gumdrop • teardrop • malaprop •Aesop • sweetsop • milksop •pawnshop • window-shop • toyshop •bookshop, cookshop •barbershop • workshop • ragtop •blacktop • tanktop • laptop • backstop •flat-top • hardtop • palmtop • desktop •tabletop • maintop • treetop • hilltop •whistle-stop • ripstop • longstop •foretop • doorstop • shortstop •screwtop • rooftop • worktop

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"desktop." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"desktop." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/desktop

"desktop." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/desktop

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.