byte

[bahyt]
noun Computers.
1.
adjacent bits, usually eight, processed by a computer as a unit.
2.
the combination of bits used to represent a particular letter, number, or special character.

Origin:
1959; origin uncertain

bight, bite, byte.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To bytes
Collins
World English Dictionary
byte (baɪt)
 
n
1.  a group of bits, usually eight, processed as a single unit of data
2.  the storage space in a memory or other storage device that is allocated to such a group of bits
3.  a subdivision of a word
 
[C20: probably a blend of bit4 + bite]

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

byte
1956, Amer.Eng.; see bit (2). Reputedly coined by Dr. Werner Buchholz at IBM.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
byte   (bīt)  Pronunciation Key 
A sequence of adjacent bits operated on as a unit by a computer. A byte usually consists of eight bits. Amounts of computer memory are often expressed in terms of megabytes (1,048,576 bytes) or gigabytes (1,073,741,824 bytes).

Our Living Language  : The word bit is short for binary digit. A bit consists of one of two values, usually 0 or 1. Computers use bits because their system of counting is based on two options: switches on a microchip that are either on or off. Thus, a computer counts to seven in bits as follows: 0, 1, 10 [2], 11 [3], 100 [4], 101 [5], 110 [6], 111 [7]. Notice that the higher the count, the more adjacent bits are needed to represent the number. For example, it requires two adjacent bits to count from 0 to 3, and it takes three adjacent bits to count from 0 to 7. A sequence of bits can represent not just numbers but other kinds of data, such as the letters and symbols on a keyboard. The sequence of 0s and 1s that make up data are usually counted in groups of 8, and these groups of 8 bits are called bytes. The word byte is short for binary digit eight. To transmit one keystroke on a typical keyboard requires one byte of information (or 8 bits). To transmit a three-letter word requires three bytes of information (or 24 bits).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
byte [(beyet)]

In computer technology, a unit of information made up of bits (often eight bits). The memory capacity of a typical personal computer runs from millions to billions of bytes.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Good combination of story and fact in easy sound bytes for the kids to absorb.
Other data, in countless bytes, arrive from instrument networks abroad.
It's potentially invasive, takes time to do, and eats up network bytes.
These are politically driven bytes of misinformation.
Synonyms
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature