BIOS Definition

The set of routines stored in read-only memory that enable a computer to start the operating system and to communicate with the various devices in the system, such as disk drives, keyboard, monitor, printer, and communications ports.
American Heritage

Plural form of bio.

Basic input/output system.
Webster's New World
(computing) Built-in operating system.
(computing) Basic input/output system.
On PC systems, a set of routines that tests the hardware (e.g., disk drives, keyboard, and monitor) at startup, starts the operating system (OS), and supports the transfer of data between hardware devices at startup. Until the early 1990s, BIOS was stored in firmware , i.e., readonly memory (ROM). In contemporary computers, BIOS is written to erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) or flash memory to facilitate updates.
Webster's New World Telecom
Acronym for Basic Input/Output System, which is a software program built into a computer and is the first program to run when the computer is started. The messages that appear on the screen when the computer starts are, in fact, from this software program. On personal computers (PCs), the BIOS contains all the code (on a ROM or a flash memory chip) required to control the keyboard, the disk drives, the display screen, a number of functions, and serial communications. After BIOS finishes testing the memory and configuring the system, it “boots” the operating system installed on the hard drive by loading an executable loading program from the boot block of the hard drive, CD-ROM, or, in some instances, the network.
Webster's New World Hacker

Origin of BIOS

  • b(asic) i(nput/)o(utput) s(ystem)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition


Find Similar Words

Find similar words to BIOS using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With