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Definition of "dongle" [dongle]

  • A hardware device that serves as copy protection for certain software by rendering the software inoperable when the device is not plugged into a printer port. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "dongle" in a sentence
  • "As these statements suggest, a dongle is just an adapter you plug into the USB port on a TV, Blu-ray player, or home-theater system that allows it to connect wirelessly to your home network."
  • "The iPod dongle is attached to a special serial board that can translate the signal from the dongle."
  • "Curious about this rather odd term, I checked out Merriam-Webster's online dictionary, which tracks the first use of the word dongle to 1981, defining it as "a small device that plugs into a computer and serves as an adapter or as a security measure to enable the use of certain software.""