noun Computers.
a programming language particularly suited for writing programs to process large files of data, using a vocabulary of common English words, phrases, and sentences.

1955–60; co(mmon) b(usiness)-o(riented) l(anguage) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
COBOL or Cobol (ˈkəʊˌbɒl)
a high-level computer programming language designed for general commercial use
[C20: co(mmon) b(usiness) o(riented) l(anguage)]
Cobol or Cobol
[C20: co(mmon) b(usiness) o(riented) l(anguage)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1960, U.S. Defense Department acronym, from "Common Business-Oriented Language."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
COBOL   (kō'bôl')  Pronunciation Key 
A programming language developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s and used especially for business applications. It is closer to English than many other high-level languages, making it easier to learn.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Slang Dictionary


/koh'bol/ n. [COmmon Business-Oriented Language] (Synonymous with evil.) A weak, verbose, and flabby language used by card wallopers to do boring mindless things on dinosaur mainframes. Hackers believe that all COBOL programmers are suits or code grinders, and no self-respecting hacker will ever admit to having learned the language. Its very name is seldom uttered without ritual expressions of disgust or horror. One popular one is Edsger W. Dijkstra's famous observation that "The use of COBOL cripples the mind; its teaching should, therefore, be regarded as a criminal offense." (from "Selected Writings on Computing: A Personal Perspective") See also fear and loathing, software rot.
Computing Dictionary

COBOL definition

COmmon Business Oriented Language

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Common Business-Oriented Language
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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