system: Meaning and Definition of


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. the solar system.
    1. a number of heavenly bodies associated and acting together according to certain natural laws:the solar system.
    2. 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. the nervous system; the digestive system.
    1. an assemblage of organs or related tissues concerned with the same function:the nervous system; the digestive system.
    2. 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. a major division of rocks comprising sedimentary deposits and igneous masses formed during a single geologic period.
  14. 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. a working combination of hardware, software, and data communications devices.
  16. 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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