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[kur-ser] /ˈkɜr sər/
Computers. a movable, sometimes blinking, symbol that indicates the position on a CRT or other type of display where the next character entered from the keyboard will appear, or where user action is needed, as in the correction of an erroneous character already displayed.
a sliding object, as the lined glass on a slide rule, that can be set at any point on a scale.
1250-1300; Middle English: courier (def 2)from late 16th century < Latin: a runner, racer, courier, equivalent to cur(rere) to run + -sor, for -tor -tor; cf. course Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cursor
  • Precisely moving a cursor with a mouse is difficult if your hand shakes because of motor impairment.
  • As with other command line tools, it takes some effort to learn what to type at the blinking cursor.
  • So far, test subjects have been able to move a cursor around a computer screen.
  • Cup your palm, move it around on a table and a cursor on the screen hovers.
  • When the cursor landed on a colored circle, it shrank.
  • No cursor keys, so you had to use the mouse to navigate.
  • The computer's cursor stands at attention, awaiting my reply.
  • Click the cursor around until you find the section you want for your ring tone.
  • He can move the cursor across the screen simply by thinking about it.
  • Links to information about the subjects of the pictures appear when a user rolls a cursor over certain parts of the image.
British Dictionary definitions for cursor


the sliding part of a measuring instrument, esp a transparent sliding square on a slide rule
any of various means, typically a flashing bar or underline, of identifying a particular position on a computer screen, such as the insertion point for text
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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Word Origin and History for cursor

computer sense is 1967 extension of name for the sliding part of a slide rule or other instrument (1590s), earlier "a running messenger" (c.1300), from Latin cursor "runner," also "errand-boy," from curs-, past participle stem of currere "to run" (see current (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cursor in Technology

1. A visually distinct mark on a display indicating where newly typed text will be inserted. The cursor moves as text is typed and, in most modern editors, can be moved around within a document by the user to change the insertion point.
2. In SQL, a named control structure used by an application program to point to a row of data. The position of the row is within a table or view, and the cursor is used interactively so select rows from columns.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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