desktop

[desk-top]
adjective
1.
small or compact enough to fit or be used on a desk: a desktop computer.
noun
2.
Computers. the primary display screen of a graphical user interface, on which various icons represent files, groups of files, programs, or the like, which can be moved, accessed, added to, put away, or thrown away in ways analogous to the handling of file folders, documents, notes, etc., on a real desk.

Origin:
1925–30; desk + top1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
desktop (ˈdɛskˌtɒp)
 
n
1.  the main screen display on a personal computer, from which windows may be opened and programs run
2.  (modifier) denoting a computer system, esp for word processing, that is small enough to use at a desk

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

desktop
1929, n., from desk + top. As an adj. meaning "suitable for use on a desktop," it is recorded from 1958 (in reference to computers). As a shortening of desktop computer, recorded from 1983. Desktop publishing recorded from 1984.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

desktop definition


1. In a WIMP graphical user interface, the visual representation of a real desktop (the top surface of a piece of furniture) with documents, folders and a rubbish bin arranged on it. The user manipulates files on the computer by using a mouse to click and drag their representations (icons) on the desktop.
The WIMP interface and desktop metaphor was invented at Xerox PARC and popularised by the Apple Macintosh.
2. desktop computer.
(2007-09-12)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
Many first-year students moving into their dorms unpack brand-new laptops or
  desktop computers.
Some of these printers are becoming small enough to be desktop devices.
Decorate your desktop with images from past issues of the magazine.
These devices are found in the average desktop computer today.
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