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[oh-puh n-sawrs, -sohrs] /ˈoʊ pənˈsɔrs, -ˈsoʊrs/
Computers. pertaining to or denoting software whose source code is available free of charge to the public to use, copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute.
pertaining to or denoting a product or system whose origins, formula, design, etc., are freely accessible to the public. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for open source
  • It comes with open source that allows engineers to close down or secure ports.
  • It's a free, open source program available for download, and users can specify a location and time for their skyward observations.
  • Physics is outdated and does not work in today's open source environment.
  • In the end the open source does not avoid anything on the contrary it even fuels the process.
  • It will be open source, meaning that it is free and can be easily customised, which should appeal to handset-makers.
  • There are open source projects that include standard formats for the exchange of designs.
  • Portal content is constantly updated with up-to-the-minute open source information from around the world back to top.
British Dictionary definitions for open source

open source

  1. intellectual property, esp computer source code, that is made freely available to the general public by its creators
  2. (as modifier): open source software Compare closed source
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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open source in Science
Relating to source code that is available to the public without charge. Open-source code is often enhanced, improved, and adapted for specific purposes by interested programmers, with the revised versions of the code are made available to the public. For example, most of the code in the Linux operating system is open-source.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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open source in Technology
philosophy, legal
A method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that anyone can copy the source code and modify it freely.
The term "open source" is now more widely used than the earlier term "free software" (promoted by the Free Software Foundation) but has broadly the same meaning - free of distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge.
There are various open source licenses available. Programmers can choose an appropriate license to use when distributing their programs.
The Open Source Initiative promotes the Open Source Definition.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar ( was a seminal paper describing the open source phenomenon.
Open Sources - O'Reilly book with full text online (
Articles from ZDNet (
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Encyclopedia Article for open source

social movement, begun by computer programmers, that rejects secrecy and centralized control of creative work in favour of decentralization, transparency, and unrestricted ("open") sharing of information. Source refers to the human-readable source code of computer programs, as opposed to the compiled computer programming language instructions, or object code, that run on computers but cannot be easily understood or modified by people

Learn more about open source with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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