Terminal Definition & Meaning

(1) A device that enables you to communicate with a computer. Generally, a terminal is a combination of keyboard and display screen. Terminals are sometimes divided into three classes based on how much processing power they contain:

  • intelligent terminal: a stand-alone device that contains main memory and a CPU.
  • smart terminal: contains some processing power, but not as much as an intelligent terminal.
  • dumb terminal: has no processing capabilities. It relies entirely on the computer’s processor.
  • (2) In networking, a terminal is a personal computer or workstation connected to a mainframe. The personal computer usually runs terminal emulation software that makes the mainframe think it is like any other mainframe terminal.

    (3) In VoIP terminology, a network endpoint which may provide audio only, audio and video, audio and data, or audio, video, and data communications with another H.323 terminal. The most common VoIP terminal is a phone.

    Vangie Beal
    Vangie Beal
    Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

    Top Articles

    The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

    Text Abbreviations reviewed by Web Webster   From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand...

    How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

    Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

    Windows Operating System History & Versions

    The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

    First to Fifth Generations of Computers

    Reviewed by Web Webster   Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

    What is a Passphrase?

    What is a passphrase? A passphrase is a string of words used to help...

    What is UID?

    A unique identifier (UID) is a character string, either numeric or alphanumeric, that...

    How to Use Google...

    Updated by Jenna Phipps   Google Hangouts is a cloud-based messaging and video chat application...