Definition of cursor in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkəːsə/


1A movable indicator on a computer screen identifying the point that will be affected by input from the user.
Example sentences
  • The device is coupled to a host computer that displays a cursor in a graphical environment, such as a GUI, on a display screen.
  • This allows the user to move the cursor to the edge of the screen and as a result, the camera will move in the same direction.
  • Make the input cursor hop to the next field after a user finishes the current field.
2chiefly historical The transparent slide engraved with a hairline that is part of a slide rule and is used for marking a point on the rule while bringing a point on the central sliding portion up to it.
Example sentences
  • The twocycle log scale was necessary because the rules had no cursor.
  • Like other Routledge-type slide rules produced by Stanley, the Hogg rule had no cursor.
  • The first step was to position a cursor at the entry of the pipette.


Middle English (denoting a runner or running messenger): from Latin, 'runner', from curs- (see cursive). sense 2 dates from the late 16th century.

  • Nowadays we call the movable indicator on our computer screen the cursor. In medieval English a cursor was a running messenger: it is a borrowing of the Latin word for ‘a runner’, and comes from currere ‘to run’. From the late 16th century cursor became the term for a sliding part of a slide rule or other instrument, marked with a line for pinpointing the position on a scale that you want, the forerunner of the computing sense. Currere is the source of very many English words including course (Middle English) something you run along; concourse (Late Middle English) originally a crowd who had ‘run together’; current (Middle English) originally meaning ‘running, flowing’; discursive (late 16th century) running away from the point; excursion (late 16th century) running out to see things; intercourse (Late Middle English) originally an exchange running between people; and precursor (Late Middle English) one who goes before; as well as supplying the cur part of concur (Late Middle English); incur (Late Middle English); occur (Late Middle English) (from ob- ‘against’); and recur (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with cursor

bursar, converser, curser, disburser, mercer, purser, rehearser, reverser, vice versa
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