Partly borrowed from Middle French sisteme, systeme, partly directly from its etymon Late Latin systēma (“harmony; musical scale; set of celestial objects; set of troops; system”), from Ancient Greek σύστημα (sústēma, “musical scale; organized body; whole made of several parts or members”), from σῠνίστημῐ (sunístēmi, “to combine, organize”) + -μᾰ (-ma, resultative suffix). σῠνίστημῐ is from σῠν- (sun-, “with, together”) + ἵστημι (hístēmi, “to stand”), from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (“to stand (up)”).
Cognate with Dutch systeem, modern French système, German System, Italian sistema, Portuguese sistema, Spanish sistema.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈsɪstəm/
- (General American) enPR: sĭsʹtəm, IPA(key): /ˈsɪstəm/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪstəm
- Hyphenation: sys‧tem
system (plural systems)
- A collection of organized things; a whole composed of relationships among its members. [from early 17th c.]
- Synonyms: arrangement, complex, composition, organization, set up, structure
- There are eight planets in the solar system.
- 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter IX, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. […], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, […], published 1842, →OCLC, page 112:
- Every age has its characteristic, and our present one is not behind its predecessors in that respect; it is the age of systems, every system enforced by a treatise. The politician who opposes the corn-laws and advocates free trade, does so on a system, which, as soon as it begins to work, will set the civilized world to rights.
- , J[ames] A[lexander] Hamilton, “Stave”, in A New Musical Grammar, in Three Parts: viz. Notation; Harmony and Counterpoint; Rhythm or Melody, 4th edition, London: Published only by Robert Cocks and Co. […]; sold also by Messrs. Simpkin, Marshall, and Co. […], →OCLC, part I (Notation), page 23:
- The bass and treble clefs combined, include all the sounds belonging to our musical system, as they appear on a 6½-octave pianoforte, extending from C C C in the bass to F in altissimo.
- 2013 May–June, Charles T. Ambrose, “Alzheimer’s Disease: The Great Morbidity of the 21st Century”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, archived from the original on 24 April 2013, page 200:
- Similar studies of rats have employed four different intracranial resorbable, slow sustained release systems—surgical foam, a thermal gel depot, a microcapsule or biodegradable polymer beads.
- (derogatory) Preceded by the word the: the mainstream culture, controlled by the elites or government of a state, or a combination of them, seen as oppressive to the individual.
- 1919, Vance Marshall, Jail From Within, page 20:
- Some had already been incarcerated for several months awaiting trial, and some were being returned to their cells at Long Bay to wait several months longer ere they would have an` opportunity of disproving the allegations against them. Such mockery of justice is allowed by the all-powerful "system".
- 1986, Madonna; Stephen Bray; Patrick Leonard (lyrics and music), “Where's the Party”, in True Blue, performed by Madonna:
- Don't want to grow old too fast / Don't want to let the system get me down / I've got to find a way to make the good times last / And if you'll show me how, I'm ready now
- (computing) A set of hardware and software operating in a computer.
- 2019 February 3, “UN Study: China, US, Japan Lead World AI Development”, in Voice of America, archived from the original on 7 February 2019:
- WIPO [the World Intellectual Property Organization] reported that China had 17 of the top 20 academic organizations filing for AI-related patents. It noted China was especially strong in the fast-growing area of "deep learning." This is a machine learning method that includes speech and facial recognition systems.
- (mathematics) A set of equations involving the same variables, which are to be solved simultaneously.
- 2017, Ken Levasseur; Al Doerr, “More Matrix Algebra”, in Applied Discrete Structures – Part 2: Algebraic Structures: Version 3.3, [Morrisville, N.C.]: Lulu.com, →ISBN, section 12.1.1 (Solutions), page 59:
- The method of solving systems of equations by matrices that we will look at is based on procedures involving equations that we are familiar with from previous mathematics courses. The main idea is to reduce a given system of equations to another simpler system that has the same solutions.
- (music) A set of staves linked by a brace that indicate instruments or sounds that are to be played simultaneously.
- 2015, Meinhard Müller, “Music Representations”, in Fundamentals of Music Processing: Audio, Analysis, Algorithms, Applications, Cham, Switzerland; Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing, →DOI, →ISBN, section 1.1.2 (Western Music Notation), page 8:
- To notate music that is played on a piano or is played by different musicians on various instruments, one often uses several staves to notate the various musical voices. A single vertical line drawn to the left of multiple staves creates a staff system, which indicates that the music on all staves is to be played simultaneously. A bracket is an additional vertically aligned symbol joining staves. This symbol shows groupings of instruments that function as a unit, such as the string section of an orchestra […].
- (physiology) A set of body organs having a particular function.
- the digestive system the nervous system
- 1995, Terence J. Dawson, “Living in the Environment – Feeding”, in Kangaroos: Biology of the Largest Marsupials, Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Publishing Associates, Cornell University Press, published 1998, →ISBN, page 102:
- Animals have evolved a variety of digestive systems to utilise fibre. The kangaroos have evolved a digestive system that has much in common with those found in ruminant mammals from other continents, but there are also unique features.
- (psychiatry) A set of alters, or the multiple (“the individual with multiple personalities due to, for example, a dissociative personality disorder”) who contains them.
- 1995, Stephen E. Braude, First Person Plural: Multiple Personality and the Philosophy of Mind, revised edition, Lanham, Md.; London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, →ISBN, page 56:
- But that alter often turns out to be relatively recent and fairly peripheral in the multiple's total system of alters.
- 2017, “A New Therapist”, in Patricia Frankish and Valerie Sinason, editors, Holistic Therapy for People with Dissociative Identity Disorder, London: Karnac Books, →ISBN, page 79:
- Rosie's courage allowed her to engage with me quickly and soon provided reassurance to others in the system that I was safe and non-abusive. Soon after, a number of other alters made themselves known to me. […] I was initially very worried that I would offend the system by missing when switches occurred, or even misidentify who was present with me.
- For more quotations using this term, see Citations:system.
- (astronomy) A planetary system; a set of planets orbiting a star or star system
- 2012, BioWare, Mass Effect 3 (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: Yukawa, Euler system:
- Yukawa is a small rock planet with a thin atmosphere of carbon dioxide. After a labor dispute with companies shipping metallic asteroids to the nearby Arcturus system, Yukawa's iron core and blanket of hematite were briefly mined to aid in the construction of Arcturus Station.
- (philosophy) A comprehensive and logically organized set of propositions or philosophical beliefs.
- 2019, David McIlwain, Michael Oakeshott and Leo Strauss: The Politics of Renaissance and Enlightenment, →ISBN, page 131, note 5:
- (role-playing games) A set of rules for a tabletop roleplaying game.
- A method or way of organizing or planning.
- Followers should have a system to follow that works in their interests, not against them.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, “In which Fortune Seems to have been in a Better Humour with ’’Jones’’ than We have hitherto Seen Her”, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume IV, London: A[ndrew] Millar, […], →OCLC, book VIII, page 253:
- But ſo Matters fell out, and ſo I muſt relate them; and if any Reader is ſhocked at their appearing unnatural, I cannot help it. I must remind ſuch Persons, that I am not writing a Syſtem, but a Hiſtory, and I am not obliged to reconcile every Matter to the received Notions concerning Truth and Nature.
- 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, →OCLC, pages 13–14:
- As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, but I would not go out of my way to protest against it. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. I would very gladly make mine over to him if I could.
- 2012 March–April, John T[homas] Jost, “Social Justice: Is It in Our Nature (and Our Future)?”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, archived from the original on 21 June 2017, page 162:
- He draws eclectically on studies of baboons, descriptive anthropological accounts of hunter-gatherer societies and, in a few cases, the fossil record. With this biological framework in place, [Peter] Corning endeavors to show that the capitalist system as currently practiced in the United States and elsewhere is manifestly unfair.
In attributive use, especially relating to computer systems, the plural is more common than the singular; one normally speaks of a systems engineer and not a system engineer.
- absolute system
- Abt system
- alarm system
- apothecaries' system
- aqueferous system
- Ardois system
- automatic leveling system
- Bayer system
- belief system
- Bertillon system
- Bessey system
- Bethesda system
- binary system
- biological system
- block system
- brigade system
- Caland system
- cardiovascular system
- Chautauqua system
- circulatory system
- climate system
- closed system
- complex adaptive system
- complex system
- computer system
- conceptual system
- contract system
- coordinate system
- Copernican system
- Crofton system
- Cronquist system
- cultural system
- cyber-physical system
- decimal system
- dynamical system
- economic system
- embedded system
- ethical system
- exhaust system
- expert system
- filing system
- fire system
- fly system
- formal system
- Ganz system
- Ghent system
- global positioning system
- Havesian system
- Hennebique system
- hire system
- honor system
- hyperbolic navigation system
- imperial system
- information system
- inquisitorial system
- intelligent transportation system
- inverse system
- isolated system
- issue tracking system
- legacy stsem
- legal system
- linear system
- logical system
- management system
- metric system
- moral system
- multi-agent system
- nervous system
- nominal type system
- open system
- operating system
- padrino system
- Palladius system
- physical system
- piece system
- platoon system
- political system
- proof system
- prototype-based system
- Ptolemaic system
- purchase system
- Pygathorean system
- Reed-Kellogg system
- ring system
- Schillinger system
- sealed system
- security system
- sensory system
- Simon system
- social system
- sociotechnical system
- Solar System
- space power system
- squeaky wheel system
- staff system
- Steiner system
- Swiss system
- taxonomic system
- travel system
- type system
- value system
- warden system
- Westminster system
- writing system
- X0 system
- XX-XY system
- XY system
- ZW system
- ZZ-ZW system
- system-wide, systemwide
- systematisation, systematization
- systematise, systematize
- → Japanese: システム (shisutemu)
- ^ “system, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, June 2015; “system”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
From late Latin systēma, from Ancient Greek σύστημα (sústēma, “organised whole, body”), from σύν (sún, “with, together”) + ἵστημι (hístēmi, “I stand”).
system n (singular definite systemet, plural indefinite systemer)
- system on the Danish Wikipedia.Wikipedia da
- “system” in Den Danske Ordbog
system m (plural systems)
- Word used in star system
From Ancient Greek σύστημα (sústēma).
system n (definite singular systemet, indefinite plural system or systemer, definite plural systema or systemene)
- a system
- “system” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
From Ancient Greek σύστημα (sústēma).
system n (definite singular systemet, indefinite plural system, definite plural systema)
- a system
- “system” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
Borrowed from French système, from Late Latin systēma, from Ancient Greek σύστημα (sústēma).
system m inan
- system (collection of organized things; whole composed of relationships among its members)
- Synonym: układ
- a system, a way or method of organizing items and knowledge
- a computer system (primarily its hardware)
- a system of restricted sales of alcohol, including state-owned monopoly shops
|Declension of system|
- (North Wales) IPA(key): /ˈsɨ̞sdɛm/, [ˈsɨ̞stɛm]
- (South Wales) IPA(key): /ˈsɪsdɛm/, [ˈsɪstɛm]
Being a word borrowed from English derived from Greek, the y in system is pronounced /ɨ̞, ɪ/ rather than expected /ə/. To preserve consistency between pronunciation and spelling, some prefer to spell this word sustem. Nevertheless, system is the more common spelling of the two. See pyramid/puramid, symbol/sumbol, synthesis/sunthesis for similar examples.
system f (plural systemau, not mutable)
- Synonym: cyfundrefn
- systematig (“systematic”)
- R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present), “system”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies