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Dictionary


sys•tem



Pronunciation: (sis'tum), [key]
n.
1. an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole: a mountain system; a railroad system.
2. any assemblage or set of correlated members: a system of currency; a system of shorthand characters.
3. an ordered and comprehensive assemblage of facts, principles, doctrines, or the like in a particular field of knowledge or thought: a system of philosophy.
4. a coordinated body of methods or a scheme or plan of procedure; organizational scheme: a system of government.
5. any formulated, regular, or special method or plan of procedure: a system of marking, numbering, or measuring; a winning system at bridge.
6. due method or orderly manner of arrangement or procedure: There is no system in his work.
7. the world or universe.
8. Astron.
a. a number of heavenly bodies associated and acting together according to certain natural laws: the solar system.
b. a hypothesis or theory of the disposition and arrangements of the heavenly bodies by which their phenomena, motions, changes, etc., are explained: the Ptolemaic system; the Copernican system.
9. Biol.
a. an assemblage of organs or related tissues concerned with the same function: the nervous system; the digestive system.
b. the entire human or animal body considered as a functioning unit: an ingredient toxic to the system.
10. one's psychological makeup, esp. with reference to desires or preoccupations: to get something out of one's system.
11. a method or scheme of classification: the Linnean system of plants.
12. (sometimes cap.) the prevailing structure or organization of society, business, or politics or of society in general; establishment (usually prec. by the): to work within the system instead of trying to change it.
13. Geol.a major division of rocks comprising sedimentary deposits and igneous masses formed during a single geologic period.
14. Physical Chem.a combination of two or more phases, as a binary system, each of which consists of one or more substances, that is attaining or is in equilibrium.
15. Computers.a working combination of hardware, software, and data communications devices.
16. Checkers.either of the two groups of 16 playing squares on four alternate columns.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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