from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of great size; large.
  • adj. Large in scope or extent; large-scale: a macro analysis of many reports.
  • n. Computer Science A single, user-defined command that is part of an application and executes a series of commands.
  • n. Computer Science A shorthand representation for a number of lines of code.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. very large in scope or scale
  • n. A comparatively human-friendly abbreviation of complicated input to a computer program.
  • n. macro lens

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a single computer instruction which symbolizes, and is converted at the time of program execution or by a compiler into, a series of instructions in the same computer language.
  • n. A keystroke (or combination of keystrokes) which symbolizes and is replaced by a series of keystrokes; -- a convenient feature of some advanced programs, such as word processors or database programs, which allows a user to rapidly execute any series of operations which may be performed multiple times. Such macros may typically be defined by the program user, without rewriting or recompiling the program.
  • adj. very large in scale or scope or capability.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. very large in scale or scope or capability
  • n. a single computer instruction that results in a series of instructions in machine language


Short for macroinstruction.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1933, from macro-, from French, from Latin, from Ancient Greek μακρός (makros, "long"). (Wiktionary)
1971, elliptical form of macro lens, from macro- + lens. Compare macrophotography. (Wiktionary)



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  • (internet slang) Also "image macro," picture with funny text on it-- exemplified by LOLcats (or, anything with a picture + Impact font)

    March 11, 2010