Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over

visual display unit

noun, Chiefly British Computers.
video display terminal.
Abbreviation: VDU.
Origin of visual display unit
1970-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for visual display unit

visual display unit

(computing) a device with a screen that displays characters or graphics representing data in a computer memory. It usually has a keyboard or light pen for the input of information or inquiries VDU
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
visual display unit in Technology
(VDU, or "video terminal", "video display terminal", VDT, "display terminal") A device incorporating a cathode ray tube (CRT) display, a keyboard and a serial port. A VDU usually also includes its own display electronics which store the received data and convert it into electrical waveforms to drive the CRT.
VDUs fall into two categories: dumb terminals and intelligent terminals (sometimes called "programmable terminals").
Early VDUs could only display characters in a single preset font, and these were confined to being layed out in a rectangular grid, reproducing the functionality of the paper-based teletypes they were designed to replace.
Later models added graphics facilities but were still driven via serial communications, typically with several VDUs attached to a single multi-user computer. This contrasts with the much faster single bitmap displays integrated into most modern single-user personal computers and workstations.
The term "Display Screen Equipment" (DSE) is used almost exclusively in connection with the health and safety issues concerning VDUs.
Working with VDUs - UK Heath and Safety Executive (
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for visual display unit

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for visual

Scrabble Words With Friends