(computing) A two-way named pipe on Unix and Unix-like systems, used for interprocess communication.
Comprising a node address and a port number, a socket is an identifier for a service on a node. In combination a socket on an originating node and a socket on a destination node establish an application session. An Internet Protocol (IP) addressable client and server, for example, might engage in an e-mail transfer using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), which is well-known port 25. See also application, client, IP, node, port, server, session, SMTP, SOCKS, and well-known port.
An operating system (OS) abstraction that permits application programs to access communications protocols automatically. Bolt Beranek and Newman (now BBN Technologies) developed the concept in conjunction with the company's early work on TCP/IP. See also application, OS, program, protocol, and TCP/IP.
Other Word Forms of Socket
Origin of Socket
Middle English soket from Anglo-Norman spearhead diminutive of soc plowshare probably of Celtic origin sū- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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