use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

pro·gram (prōgrăm, -grəm)
Share:
n.
1.
a. A listing of the order of events and other pertinent information for a public presentation.
b. The presentation itself: a program of piano pieces.
2. A scheduled radio or television show.
3. An ordered list of events to take place or procedures to be followed; a schedule: a program of physical therapy for a convalescent.
4. A system of services, opportunities, or projects, usually designed to meet a social need: "Working parents rely on the center's after-school latchkey program" (New York Times).
5.
a. A course of academic study; a curriculum.
b. A plan or system of academic and related or ancillary activities: a work-study program.
c. A plan or system of nonacademic extracurricular activities: the football program.
6. A set of coded instructions that enables a machine, especially a computer, to perform a desired sequence of operations.
7. An instruction sequence in programmed instruction.
8.
a. All or part of the genetic code of a cell or organism.
b. A characteristic sequence of developmental or behavioral events in a cell or organism, often considered to result from the expression of genes.
c. A stimulus or training sequence that causes an organism to exhibit a behavior, as by conditioning.
tr.v. pro·grammed, pro·gram·ming, pro·grams or pro·gramed or pro·gram·ing
1. To include or schedule in a program: program a new musical composition.
2. To design a program for; schedule the activities of.
3. To provide (a machine) with a set of coded working instructions.
4. To stimulate or train to perform automatically in a specified way: consumers who have been programmed to buy brand names.
5. To prepare an instructional sequence for (material to be taught) in programmed instruction.
6.
a. To provide (a cell or organism, for example) with a genetic program: cells that are programmed to produce insulin.
b. To cause (an effect or action) by means of a genetic program; determine genetically: "The basic housekeeping duties that a human and a yeast cell must perform are the same and are programmed by recognizably similar genes inherited from a common, single-celled ancestor" (Nicholas Wade).
Idiom:
get with the program
To follow or conform to a set of guidelines or expectations.

[Late Latin programma, public notice, from Greek programma, programmat-, from prographein, to write publicly : pro-, forth; see PRO-2 + graphein, to write; see gerbh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

pro·gramma·bili·ty n.
programma·ble adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.