Definition of programme in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈprəʊɡram/
(US program)


1A planned series of future events or performances: a weekly programme of films the programme includes Dvořák’s New World symphony
More example sentences
  • As a part of the festival, bird-watching tours, a fishermen exhibition, boat race and a series of cultural programmes are being planned.
  • Future plans and programmes were discussed at the gathering.
  • A whole series of programmes are being planned to promote awareness.
schedule, agenda, calendar, timetable;
order of events, list of events, order of the day, line-up, list, listing;
1.1A set of related measures or activities with a particular long-term aim: the British nuclear power programme
More example sentences
  • Treatment consists of a long-term programme of physical activity and, when necessary, anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • The specific reform measures of the programme can be grouped under three broad headings.
  • The program should provide long-term strategies to deal with weight problems you may have in the future.
scheme, plan, plan of action, initiative, series of measures, project, strategy, solution
2A sheet or booklet giving details of items or performers at an event or performance: a theatre programme
More example sentences
  • Everything from a giant City shirt, the two penalty spots, changing room pegs, turnstiles, team sheets and signed programmes will be available.
  • Team sheets, signed programmes and a players' treatment table from the 1930s will also be up for grabs.
  • ‘Finding all those programmes, letters and sheet music brought back so many memories,’ she says.
guide, list of performers/players/artistes;
North American  playbill
3An item broadcast between stated times on radio or television: a nature programme
More example sentences
  • To survive, a commercial broadcaster must produce programmes that audiences want.
  • Television programmes, radio talk shows and even online magazines are the results of a lot of hard work.
  • In this business to broadcast 4,000 programmes on the same radio station is a remarkable achievement.
broadcast, production, show, presentation, transmission, performance, telecast, simulcast, videocast, podcast;
episode, instalment
informal prog
3.1 dated A radio or television channel.
4 (program) A series of coded software instructions to control the operation of a computer or other machine.
Example sentences
  • Processing power, therefore, is increasingly determined by software that compiles computer programs into machine code.
  • The sharpest increase is expected to occur among workers who design software programs or develop computer databases.
  • In order to use FTP, you'll need to download and install a software program on your computer.

verb (programmes, programming, programmed; US also programs, programing, programed)

[with object]
1 (program) Provide (a computer or other machine) with coded instructions for the automatic performance of a task: it is a simple matter to program the computer to recognize such symbols
More example sentences
  • Today's slot machines are programmed by computer to continually select a series of numbers at random, whether the machine is being played or not.
  • Simply put, if a computer programmed by people learns the contents of a communication, and takes action based on what it learns, it invades privacy.
  • Most search engines are not programmed to read graphics but instead look for text.
1.1 [no object] Write computer programs: I’ve programmed for 25 years and have used many languages
More example sentences
  • I've been programming in mod perl for several years.
  • Ferrell's team was more accustomed to programming in Microsoft's Visual Basic.
  • When I was programming in the early '80s, Microsoft had a stable operating system on which free competition existed.
1.2Input (instructions for the automatic performance of a task) into a computer or other machine: simply program in your desired volume level
More example sentences
  • What's new is a technique which lets ordinary card users program in their own spending parameters.
  • People are used to point and click, not having to program in a time and channel to get something to record.
  • By the way, you can also use this service to program in all those anniversaries that you tend to forget as well!
set, fix, arrange
1.3Cause (a person or animal) to behave in a predetermined way: all members of a species are programmed to build nests in the same way
More example sentences
  • We respond positively to baby animals because we're programmed to find big heads and big eyes cute.
  • I am programmed to behave, not taught to behave.
  • Blotter made a show of biting her knuckles and growing pale, as she was programmed to do in tense situations.
2Arrange according to a plan or schedule: we learn how to programme our own lives
arrange, organize, schedule, plan, map out, lay out, timetable, line up, prearrange;
North American  slate
2.1Schedule (an item) within a plan: the next stage of the treaty is programmed for next year
More example sentences
  • The company consistently programs the wrong kind of plays for such a space.
  • While the renovation takes place, he will be programming events in other venues, such as council-run schools outwith the city.
3US Broadcast (an item): the station does not program enough contemporary works
More example sentences
  • In this view, networks, from the beginning of television time should have programmed lots of prime-time game shows.
  • After one disastrous season, many of the stations that programmed the show asked to be let out of their two-year guarantees.


get with the program

[often in imperative] North American informal Do what is expected of one; adopt the prevailing viewpoint: come on you guys—get with the program
More example sentences
  • On that matter, at least, Riordan got with the program: ‘I know nothing about it.’
  • This is the way it is, boys and girls, and while I'm not thrilled, I think it's long past time that Democrats got with the program.
  • Let's hope someone up top gets with the program.


Early 17th century (in the sense 'written notice'): via late Latin from Greek programma, from prographein 'write publicly', from pro 'before' + graphein 'write'.

Words that rhyme with programme


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pro|gramme

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.