desktop application - Computer Definition
(1) An application that runs stand alone in a desktop or laptop computer. Contrast with "Web-based application," which requires the Web browser to run. The term may be used to contrast desktop applications with mobile applications that run in smartphones and tablets. See desktop computer, Web application and mobile app.
(2) In Windows, a desktop application is one that runs in the traditional Windows desktop in contrast to a tablet application that runs full screen. See tablet mode.