log in


[n. lawg-in, log-; v. lawg-in, log-] Digital Technology.
noun Also, log-in, logon.
the act of logging in to a database, mobile device, or computer, especially a multiuser computer or a remote or networked computer system.
a username and password that allows a person to log in to a computer system, network, mobile device, or user account.
verb (used without object)
to log in: Login with your new password. See log1 ( def 17 ).

Many who are neither professionals in the computer field nor amateur tech enthusiasts condemn the use of the solid form login as a verb, and with reason. It doesn’t behave like a normal verb. You cannot say you have loginned, and you are never in the process of loginning. Moreover, you cannot even ask someone to login you; you must ask that person to log you in. Clearly, it is the two-word phrase log in that functions fully as an English verb and not the solid form. Normally, we would expect log in, the verb phrase and login, the noun to behave in the same way as similar pairs: blow out/blowout, crack down/crackdown, hang up/hangup, splash down/splashdown, turn off/turnoff, where the two-word phrase is a verb and the one-word form a noun.
And yet, this gluing together of terms like login, logon, backup, and setup as verbs is common, especially in writing about computers. Not for everyone, however. Some well-known software companies, for example, carefully maintain the distinction in their programs and documentation.
But habits are difficult to change. Those who react to the one-word verb as an error will probably have to get used to it, and those who use the one-word verb will have to recognize that others will see it and wince.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


1 [lawg, log]
a portion or length of the trunk or of a large limb of a felled tree.
something inert, heavy, or not sentient.
Nautical. any of various devices for determining the speed of a ship, as a chip log or patent log.
any of various records, made in rough or finished form, concerning a trip made by a ship or aircraft and dealing with particulars of navigation, weather, engine performance, discipline, and other pertinent details; logbook.
Movies. an account describing or denoting each shot as it is taken, written down during production and referred to in editing the film.
a register of the operation of a machine.
Also called well log. a record kept during the drilling of a well, especially of the geological formations penetrated.
Computers. any of various chronological records made concerning the use of a computer system, the changes made to data, etc.
Radio and Television. a written account of everything transmitted by a station or network.
Also called log of wood. Australian Slang. a lazy, dull-witted person; fool.
verb (used with object), logged, logging.
to cut (trees) into logs: to log pine trees for fuel.
to cut down the trees or timber on (land): We logged the entire area in a week.
to enter in a log; compile; amass; keep a record of: to log a day's events.
to make (a certain speed), as a ship or airplane: We are logging 18 knots.
to travel for (a certain distance or a certain amount of time), according to the record of a log: We logged 30 miles the first day. He has logged 10,000 hours flying time.
verb (used without object), logged, logging.
to cut down trees and get out logs from the forest for timber: to log for a living.
Verb phrases
log in,
Also, log on, sign on. Computers. to enter identifying data, as a username or password, into a database, mobile device, or computer, especially a multiuser computer or a remote or networked system, so as to to access and use it: Log in to start your work session. Log in to your account to pay your bill online.
to enter or include any item of information or data in a record, account, etc.
log off/out, Computers. to terminate a session.

1350–1400; Middle English logge, variant of lugge pole, limb of tree; compare obsolete logget pole; see lugsail, logbook

loggish, adjective
unlogged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
log1 (lɒɡ)
1.  a.  a section of the trunk or a main branch of a tree, when stripped of branches
 b.  (modifier) constructed out of logs: a log cabin
2.  a.  a detailed record of a voyage of a ship or aircraft
 b.  a record of the hours flown by pilots and aircrews
 c.  a book in which these records are made; logbook
3.  a written record of information about transmissions kept by radio stations, amateur radio operators, etc
4.  a.  See also chip log a device consisting of a float with an attached line, formerly used to measure the speed of a ship
 b.  heave the log to determine a ship's speed with such a device
5.  (Austral) a claim for better pay and conditions presented by a trade union to an employer
6.  like a log without stirring or being disturbed (in the phrase sleep like a log)
vb , logs, logging, logged
7.  (tr) to fell the trees of (a forest, area, etc) for timber
8.  (tr) to saw logs from (trees)
9.  (intr) to work at the felling of timber
10.  (tr) to enter (a distance, event, etc) in a logbook or log
11.  (tr) to record the punishment received by (a sailor) in a logbook
12.  (tr) to travel (a specified distance or time) or move at (a specified speed)
[C14: origin obscure]

log2 (lɒɡ)
short for logarithm

log in
1.  Also: log on to enter (an identification number, password, etc) from a remote terminal to gain access to a multiaccess system
2.  Also: login the process by which a computer user logs in

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., of unknown origin. O.N. had lag "felled tree" (from stem of liggja "to lie"), but on phonological grounds etymologists deny that this is the root of English log. Instead, they suggest an independent formation meant to "express the notion of something massive by a word of appropriate sound."
Logging "act of cutting timber" is from 1706. Logjam "congestion of logs on a river" is from 1885; in the figurative sense it is from 1890. Log cabin in Amer.Eng. has been a figure of the honest pioneer since the 1840 presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison.

"to enter into a log book," 1823, from logbook "daily record of a ship's speed, progress, etc." (1679), which is so called because wooden floats were used to measure a ship's speed. To log in in the computing sense is attested from 1963.

in computer sense, as one word, by 1983, from log (v.) + in.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
log   (lôg)  Pronunciation Key 
A logarithm.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

log in definition

(Or "login", "log on", "logon") To start a session with a system, usually by giving a user name and password as a means of user authentication. The term is also used to mean the ability to access a service (also called an account), e.g. "Have you been given a login yet?"
"Log in/on" is occasionally misused to refer to starting a session where no authorisation is involved, or to access where there is no session involved. E.g. "Log on to our Web site!"
"login" is also the Unix program which reads and verifies a user's user name and password and starts an interactive session.
The noun forms are usually written as a single word whereas the verb forms are often written as two words.
To end a session is to "log out" or "off".

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Bible Dictionary

Log definition

the smallest measure for liquids used by the Hebrews (Lev. 14:10, 12, 15, 21, 24), called in the Vulgate sextarius. It is the Hebrew unit of measure of capacity, and is equal to the contents of six ordinary hen's eggs=the twelfth part of a him, or nearly a pint.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

log in

Also, log on. Enter into a computer the information needed to begin a session, as in I logged in at two o'clock, or There's no record of your logging on today. These expressions refer especially to large systems shared by numerous individuals, who need to enter a username or password before executing a program. The antonyms are log off and log out, meaning "to end a computer session." All these expressions derive from the use of log in the nautical sense of entering information about a ship in a journal called a log book. [c. 1960]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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