- a plan of action to accomplish a specified end: a school lunch program.
- a plan or schedule of activities, procedures, etc., to be followed.
- a broadcasted television or radio production or similar Internet-based content produced for distribution.
- a list of items, pieces, performers, etc., in a musical, theatrical, or other entertainment.
- an entertainment with reference to its pieces or numbers: a program of American and French music.
- a planned, coordinated group of activities, procedures, etc., often for a specific purpose, or a facility offering such a series of activities: a drug rehabilitation program; a graduate program in linguistics.
- a prospectus or syllabus: a program of courses being offered.
- Also called computer program. Digital Technology. a precise sequence of instructions enabling a computer to perform a task; a piece of software.
verb (used with object), pro·grammed or pro·gramed, pro·gram·ming or pro·gram·ing.
- to schedule as part of a program.
- Digital Technology. to write code for (a computer program or application).
- to insert or encode specific operating instructions into (a machine or apparatus): We’ll program the bells to ring at ten-minute intervals.
- to insert (instructions) into a machine or apparatus: An automatic release has been programmed into the lock as a safety feature.
- to cause to absorb or incorporate automatic responses, attitudes, or the like; condition: Our parents programmed us to respect our elders.
- to set, regulate, or modify so as to produce a specific response or reaction: Program your eating habits to eliminate sweets.
verb (used without object), pro·grammed or pro·gramed, pro·gram·ming or pro·gram·ing.
- to plan or write a program.
- Digital Technology. to write computer code.
- a sequence of coded instructions fed into a computer, enabling it to perform specified logical and arithmetical operations on data
verb -grams, -gramming, -grammed, -grammes, -gramming or -grammed
- (tr) to feed a program into (a computer)
- (tr) to arrange (data) into a suitable form so that it can be processed by a computer
- (intr) to write a program
1630s, “public notice,” from Late Latin programma “proclamation, edict,” from Greek programma “a written public notice,” from stem of prographein “to write publicly,” from pro- “forth” (see pro-) + graphein “to write” (see -graphy).
General sense of “a definite plan or scheme” is recorded from 1837. Meaning “list of pieces at a concert, playbill” first recorded 1805 and retains the original sense. That of “objects or events suggested by music” is from 1854. Sense of “broadcasting presentation” is from 1923. Computer sense (noun and verb) is from 1945. Spelling programme, established in Britain, is from French in modern use and began to be used early 19c., originally especially in the “playbill” sense. Program music attested from 1877.
1889, “write program notes;” 1896, “arrange according to program,” from program (n.). Of computers from 1945. From 1963 in the figurative sense of “to train to behave in a predetermined way.” Related: Programmed; programming.
- A organized system of instructions and data interpreted by a computer. Programming instructions are often referred to as code. See more at source code. See also programming language.
A series of instructions given to a computer to direct it to carry out certain operations. The term code is often used to denote large-scale operations.