An example of interface is someone using the controls on a washing machine to tell the machine how to function.
- a plane forming the common boundary between two parts of matter or space
- a point or means of interaction between two systems, disciplines, groups, etc.
- Comput. a point or means of interaction between two or more systems, components of a computer system, or the system and a user
intransitive verb-·faced·, -·fac·ing
- to sew material (interfacing) between the outer fabric and the facing of (a collar, lapel, etc.) so as to give body or to prevent stretching
- to interact with (another system, discipline, group, etc.)
- A surface forming a common boundary between adjacent regions, bodies, substances, or phases.
- A point at which independent systems or diverse groups interact: “the interface between crime and politics where much of our reality is to be found” ( Jack Kroll )
- Computers a. A system of interaction or communication between a computer and another entity such as a printer, another computer, a network, or a human user.b. A device, such as a cable, network card, monitor, or keyboard, that enables interaction or communication between a computer and another entity.c. The layout or design of the interactive elements of a computer program, an online service, or an electronic device.
verbin·ter·faced, in·ter·fac·ing, in·ter·fac·es
- To join by means of an interface.
- To serve as an interface for.
- To serve as an interface or become interfaced.
- Usage Problem To interact or coordinate smoothly: “Theatergoers were lured out of their seats and interfaced with the scenery” ( New York Times )
Usage Note: The noun interface, meaning “a surface forming a common boundary, as between bodies or regions,” has been around since the 1880s. But the word did not really take off until the 1960s, when it began to be used in the computer industry to designate the point of interaction between a computer and another system, such as a printer. The word was applied to other interactions as well—between departments in an organization, for example, or between fields of study. Shortly thereafter, interface developed a use as a verb, but many people objected to it, considering it an example of bureaucratic jargon. The Usage Panel has been unable to muster much enthusiasm for the verb. In our 2011 survey, 57 percent found it unacceptable in an example designating interaction between people: The managing editor must interface with a variety of freelance editors and proofreaders. This level of disapproval is only slightly lower than the 63 percent recorded in our 1995 survey, suggesting that writers who wish to avoid a jargony tone would do well to avoid the usage. In 2011, a slightly larger percentage disapproved of interface in examples indicating interaction between a corporation and the public (66 percent) or between various communities in a city (65 percent).
- The point of interconnection between entities.
- Public relations firms often serve as the interface between a company and the press.
- (chemistry, physics) A thin layer or boundary between different substances or two phases of a single substance.
- If water and oil are mixed together, they tend to separate, and at equilibrium they are in different strata with an oil-water interface in between.
- The surface of a lake is a water-air interface.
- (computing) The point of interconnection between systems or subsystems.
- The data is sent over the air interface to the remote system.
- (computing) The connection between a user and a machine.
- The options are selected via the user interface.
- (computing, object-oriented) The connection between parts of software.
- This interface is implemented by several Java classes.
- (computing, object-oriented) In object-oriented programming, a piece of code defining a set of operations that other code must implement.
- The Audio and Video classes both implement the IPlayable interface.
(third-person singular simple present interfaces, present participle interfacing, simple past and past participle interfaced)
- to construct an interface for, to connect through an interface
- (intransitive) to be an interface, to be into an interface
interface - Computer Definition
- The common physical point, boundary, surface, or plane where two things touch, meet, or come together. The interface between the core and cladding in a glass optical fiber (GOF) is an example of such a physical interface. See also cladding, core, and GOF.
- The device or component that serves to physically and logically interconnect two other devices or systems and that enables their interoperation. Such an interface may comprise a combination of hardware and firmware. A trunk interface that connects a trunk and a switch or router is an example of such an interface. See also hardware and firmware.
- Software that logically interconnects two computers or a computer and another device and allows them to interoperate. Such software generally is characterized as performing a gateway function. A gateway that accomplishes protocol conversion between X.25 and frame relay is an example. See also gateway, protocol, and software.
- Software that enables a user to work with a computer program perhaps in an intuitive way. Examples include a command-line interface and a graphical user interface (GUI). See also program and software.
- Software that enables a computer to work with another program, or with the computer hardware. Such software enables the computer to function as a whole. See also API, hardware, program, and software.
The connection and interaction between hardware, software and the user. Users "talk to" the software. The software "talks to" the hardware and other software. Hardware "talks to" other hardware. All this is interfacing. It has to be designed, developed, tested and redesigned; and with each incarnation, a new specification is born that may become yet one more de facto or regulated standard. Hardware Interfaces Hardware interfaces are the plugs, sockets, cables and electrical signals traveling through them. Examples are USB, FireWire, Ethernet, ATA/IDE, SCSI and PCI. Software/Programming Interfaces Software interfaces (programming interfaces) are the languages, codes and messages that programs use to communicate with each other and to the hardware. Examples are the Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems, SMTP e-mail, IP network protocols and the software drivers that activate the peripheral devices. User Interfaces User interfaces are the keyboards, mice, commands and menus used for communication between you and the computer. Examples are the command lines in DOS and Unix, and the graphical interfaces in Windows, Mac and Linux.