Context: Advertising

A collection of two or more objects that interact together, even in the most obvious way. Connotes complexity, consistency and robustness, but use of this term as advertising jargon is dilluting these meanings.


  • "Shampooing system"/"Haircare System"
  • Vacuuming system
  • Lego system
  • Dishwashing system (consisting of cloth+soap)
Contending member for the abused terms group that ties another set of ideas together.

Systems theory: A system is a dynamic something that links together similar elements and differentiates itself against an environment seen as non-similar. The system is order, the environment stands for chaos.

In UNIX/linux programming, the system("...") command is used in C/C++ code to execute a command as if you typed it at the command line.
For example:

system("cat readme.txt");
would print the readme.txt text file out to the screen just as if you had typed "cat readme.txt" on the command line.

It is a very bad idea to use this command in programs that will be running with special (or really any) priveliges (for security reasons). By hex editing or devious file name and path manipulation, a malicious user (hacker) with access to that program could easily execute anything he or she desired on your machine.
A particularly good reference to learn more about this and other unix commands is Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment by W. Richard Stevens.

A Child's Garden of Verses (1885)
Robert Louis Stevenson

Every night my prayers I say,
And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I've been good,
I get an orange after food.

The child that is not clean and neat,
With lots of toys and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I'm sure--
Or else his dear papa is poor.

Public domain text taken from The Poets’ Corner:

CST Approved

sysop = S = systems jock

system n.

1. The supervisor program or OS on a computer. 2. The entire computer system, including input/output devices, the supervisor program or OS, and possibly other software. 3. Any large-scale program. 4. Any method or algorithm. 5. `System hacker': one who hacks the system (in senses 1 and 2 only; for sense 3 one mentions the particular program: e.g., `LISP hacker')

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Sys"tem (?), n. [L. systema, Gr. , fr. to place together; with + to place: cf. F. systeme. See Stand.]


An assemblage of objects arranged in regular subordination, or after some distinct method, usually logical or scientific; a complete whole of objects related by some common law, principle, or end; a complete exhibition of essential principles or facts, arranged in a rational dependence or connection; a regular union of principles or parts forming one entire thing; as, a system of philosophy; a system of government; a system of divinity; a system of botany or chemistry; a military system; the solar system.

<-- Specifically, a computer system. -->

The best way to learn any science, is to begin with a regular system, or a short and plain scheme of that science well drawn up into a narrow compass. I. Watts.


Hence, the whole scheme of created things regarded as forming one complete plan of whole; the universe.

"The great system of the world."



Regular method or order; formal arrangement; plan; as, to have a system in one's business.

4. Mus.

The collection of staves which form a full score. See Score, n.

5. Biol.

An assemblage of parts or organs, either in animal or plant, essential to the performance of some particular function or functions which as a rule are of greater complexity than those manifested by a single organ; as, the capillary system, the muscular system, the digestive system, etc.; hence, the whole body as a functional unity.

6. Zool.

One of the stellate or irregular clusters of intimately united zooids which are imbedded in, or scattered over, the surface of the common tissue of many compound ascidians.

Block system, Conservative system, etc. See under Block, Conservative, etc.


© Webster 1913.

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