follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

Easter egg

noun
1.
a chicken egg that is dyed and often given a figure or design, or an imitation of such an egg, as an egg-shaped candy or chocolate, used at Easter as a gift or decoration.
2.
Digital Technology. an extra feature, as a message or video, hidden in a software program, computer game, movie DVD, etc., and revealed as by an obscure sequence of keystrokes or mouse clicks.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for Easter egg

Easter egg

noun
1.
an egg given to children at Easter, usually a chocolate egg or a hen's egg with its shell painted
2.
a bonus or extra feature hidden inside a website, computer game, or DVD, that is only revealed after repeated or lengthy viewing or playing
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
Cite This Source
Easter egg in Technology
jargon
(From the custom of the Easter Egg hunt observed in the US and many parts of Europe)
1. A message hidden in the object code of a program as a joke, intended to be found by persons disassembling or browsing the code.
2. A message, graphic, sound effect, or other behaviour emitted by a program (or, on an IBM PC, the BIOS ROM) in response to some undocumented set of commands or keystrokes, intended as a joke or to display program credits.
One well-known early Easter egg found in a couple of operating systems caused them to respond to the command "make love" with "not war?". Many personal computers, and even satellite control computers, have much more elaborate eggs hidden in ROM, including lists of the developers' names (e.g. Microsoft Windows 3.1x), political exhortations and snatches of music. The Tandy Color Computer 3 (CoCo) had images of the entire development team. Microsoft Excel 97 includes a flight simulator!
(http://eeggs.com/).
[Jargon File]
(2003-06-23)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for Easter egg

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for Easter

6
6
Scrabble Words With Friends