noun Digital Technology.
a hardware device attached to a computer without which
a particular software program will
not run: used to prevent unauthorized use.
2. Also called wireless adapter.
a device that can be plugged into a USB port to enable wireless access from a computer to an external Wi-Fi device, as a mobile phone, or to the Internet, via high-speed broadband, or to enable wireless connectivity in a printer or other peripheral
1980–85; probably an arbitrary coinage