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[oh-puh n-sawrs, -sohrs] /ˈoʊ pənˈsɔrs, -ˈsoʊrs/
Computers. pertaining to or denoting software whose source code is available free of charge to the public to use, copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute.
pertaining to or denoting a product or system whose origins, formula, design, etc., are freely accessible to the public. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for open source

open source

  1. intellectual property, esp computer source code, that is made freely available to the general public by its creators
  2. (as modifier): open source software Compare closed source
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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open source in Science
Relating to source code that is available to the public without charge. Open-source code is often enhanced, improved, and adapted for specific purposes by interested programmers, with the revised versions of the code are made available to the public. For example, most of the code in the Linux operating system is open-source.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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open source in Technology
philosophy, legal
A method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and improvement of software written by volunteers by ensuring that anyone can copy the source code and modify it freely.
The term "open source" is now more widely used than the earlier term "free software" (promoted by the Free Software Foundation) but has broadly the same meaning - free of distribution restrictions, not necessarily free of charge.
There are various open source licenses available. Programmers can choose an appropriate license to use when distributing their programs.
The Open Source Initiative promotes the Open Source Definition.
The Cathedral and the Bazaar ( was a seminal paper describing the open source phenomenon.
Open Sources - O'Reilly book with full text online (
Articles from ZDNet (
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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