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[doun-lohd] /ˈdaʊnˌloʊd/
verb (used with object), Computers.
to transfer (software, data, character sets, etc.) from a distant to a nearby computer, from a larger to a smaller computer, or from a computer to a peripheral device.
Origin of download
down1 + load Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for download
  • With every download of data, the time baseline of the light curves is extended.
  • Anyone who has waited for a web page to download can appreciate the limitations of data transfer.
  • If the client side package requires any download that can be detected and possibly used to subvert the system.
  • download for quick access to up-to-the minute technology news.
  • The apps are free to download and include free access to the editor's highlights.
  • download the latest edition and get exclusive stories, photos, and video.
  • To download the screensaver, click the link below the image of the screensaver.
  • Start by making a template: download and photocopy the design, sizing it to fit your pumpkin.
  • Listen at left or download the mp3 to a portable player.
  • If you are not a registered user, you will be asked to sign up during the download process.
British Dictionary definitions for download


verb (transitive)
to copy or transfer (data or a program) into the memory of one computer system from a larger one
to broadcast specialist programmes, for such groups as doctors, outside normal broadcasting hours. They are often recorded on video tapes and viewed later Compare upload
especially (Canadian) to delegate or assign (work, responsibilities, costs, etc) to a someone at a lower level of an organization; off-load
a file transferred onto a computer from another computer or the internet
Derived Forms
downloadable, adjective
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 download

1977 (n.), 1980 (v.), from down (adv.) + load (v.). Related: Downloaded; downloading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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download in Science
To transfer data or programs from a server or host computer to one's own computer or digital device. Compare upload.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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download in Technology

To transfer data from one computer to another. Downloading usually refers to transfer from a larger "host" system (especially a server or mainframe) to a smaller "client" system, especially a microcomputer or specialised peripheral, and "upload" usually means from small to large.
Others hold that, technically, download means "receive" and upload means "send", irrespective of the size of the systems involved.
Note that in communications between ground and space, space-to-earth transmission is always "down" and the reverse "up", regardless of size. So far the in-space machines have invariably been smaller; thus the upload/download distinction has been reversed from its usual sense.
[Jargon File]

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