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[n. in-ter-feys; v. in-ter-feys, in-ter-feys] /n. ˈɪn tərˌfeɪs; v. ˈɪn tərˌfeɪs, ˌɪn tərˈfeɪs/
a surface regarded as the common boundary of two bodies, spaces, or phases.
the facts, problems, considerations, theories, practices, etc., shared by two or more disciplines, procedures, or fields of study:
the interface between chemistry and physics.
a common boundary or interconnection between systems, equipment, concepts, or human beings.
communication or interaction:
Interface between the parent company and its subsidiaries has never been better.
a thing or circumstance that enables separate and sometimes incompatible elements to coordinate effectively:
The organization serves as an interface between the state government and the public.
computer hardware or software designed to communicate information between hardware devices, between software programs, between devices and programs, or between a device and a user.
verb (used with object), interfaced, interfacing.
to bring into an interface.
to bring together; connect or mesh:
The management is interfacing several departments with an information service from overseas.
verb (used without object), interfaced, interfacing.
to be in an interface.
to function as an interface.
to meet or communicate directly; interact, coordinate, synchronize, or harmonize (often followed by with):
The two communications systems are able to interface with each other.
Origin of interface
1880-85; inter- + face Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for interface
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They embody expectations and plans for change; and they need to interface between the given and the desired or the expected.

  • There remains the question of the precipitation of the tanning colloid at the interface.

    Animal Proteins Hugh Garner Bennett
  • We adopted the interface from some free software inventory-management apps that were built for illiterate service employees.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • The entire machine does not speak or understand an interface's high-level language.

  • Every language of interaction (interface) that disappeared took with it into oblivion experiences impossible to resuscitate.

British Dictionary definitions for interface


noun (ˈɪntəˌfeɪs)
(chem) a surface that forms the boundary between two bodies, liquids, or chemical phases
a common point or boundary between two things, subjects, etc
an electrical circuit linking one device, esp a computer, with another
verb (ˌɪntəˈfeɪs)
(transitive) to design or adapt the input and output configurations of (two electronic devices) so that they may work together compatibly
to be or become an interface (with)
to be or become interactive (with)
Derived Forms
interfacial (ˌɪntəˈfeɪʃəl) adjective
interfacially, adverb
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 interface

1882 (n.), 1967 (v.), from inter- + face. Related: Interfaced; interfacing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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interface in Medicine

interface in·ter·face (ĭn'tər-fās')
A surface forming a common boundary between adjacent regions or bodies.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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interface in Science
  1. The point of interaction or communication between a computer and any other entity, such as a printer or human operator.

  2. The layout of an application's graphic or textual controls in conjunction with the way the application responds to user activity. See more at GUI.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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interface in Technology

A boundary across which two systems communicate. An interface might be a hardware connector used to link to other devices, or it might be a convention used to allow communication between two software systems. Often there is some intermediate component between the two systems which connects their interfaces together. For example, two EIA-232 interfaces connected via a serial cable.
See also graphical user interface, Application Program Interface.

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