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

  • n. A mid-sized computer, usually fitting within a single cabinet about the size of a refrigerator, that has less memory than a mainframe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A computer smaller than a mainframe, but larger than a microcomputer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a mid-sized digital computer; at any given point in the development of computer technology, a minicomputer will be faster and have greater capacity than a microcomputer, but will be slower and have less capacity than a mainframe computer.

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

  • n. a digital computer of medium size


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Around 1971, the work was moved to a Univac 1108 machine and then, in 1978, we were fortunate enough to acquire the first VAX/780 minicomputer from the Digital Equipment

    John Pople - Autobiography

  • Back then a minicomputer was the size of a desk, whereas a microcomputer could fit on top of a desk.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Verizon FIOS

  • He formed the Digital Equipment Corporation to manufacture and sell computer components, and then he built something radically different from what had existed before: a smaller computer called a minicomputer that interacted directly with the user.

    Where Wizards Stay Up Late

  • Of course, they were "mini" in name only: Back in the early 1970s, a "minicomputer" was a series of cabinets that dominated a room, made more noise than an asthmatic air conditioner, and had five- and six-figure price tags.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Dr. Brilliant's company supplied what was then considered fairly advanced technology: a "minicomputer" that took up most of a modified closet, as well as conferencing software.

    Long Before Facebook, There Was the Well

  • Rather, the machine was sold as a "minicomputer" and was aimed exclusively at electronics hobbyists.

    The Guardian World News

  • That they were able to do this was due to two factors: their coding ability; and the fact that Allen had created a software simulator of the Altair machine that ran on a Harvard minicomputer.

    Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-founder of Microsoft by Paul Allen – review

  • It is still a mystery how the entire Boston-area-based minicomputer industry could fail so suddenly in the early 1990s.

    Kodak Didn't Kill Rochester. It Was the Other Way Around

  • Each one functions like a minicomputer with special functions assigned to it.

    Experts say Gabrielle Giffords needs year to show progress

  • DEC had been built on the minicomputer, a once innovative category now rendered a dinosaur by the personal computer revolution.

    In the Plex


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