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1845, "animal which browses," agent noun from browse (v.). In the computer sense by 1982.
The first browser was invented at PARC by Larry Tesler, now a designer at Apple Computer. Tesler's first Smalltalk browser was a tree-structured device. It enabled programmers to hunt quickly for items in a Smalltalk dictionary. ["InfoWorld" magazine, vol. v., no. 4, Jan. 24, 1983]
See Web browser.
A program which allows a person to read hypertext. The browser gives some means of viewing the contents of nodes (or "pages") and of navigating from one node to another.
Netscape Navigator, NCSA Mosaic, Lynx, and W3 are examples for browsers for the World-Wide Web. They act as clients to remote web servers.