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See also: dos, DoS, dós, dōs, do's, -dos, d'os, and d'ô



Proper noun[edit]


  1. (computing, historical) Acronym of Disk Operating System, a family of disk-based operating systems.
    Coordinate term: CP/M
    • 1993, Kris A. Jamsa, DOS: The Complete Reference, McGraw–Hill Osborne Media:
      Next, using your word processor or the DOS text editor, you can edit your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
    • 1993, Doug Lowe, The Only DOS Book You'll Ever Need, Mike Murach & Associates Incorporated, →ISBN, page 95:
      One way to do that is to turn the PC off and turn it back on again. Then, the PC performs its self-test and boots DOS.
  2. (US) Initialism of Department of State.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Normally applied to operating systems available for IBM and IBM-compatible personal computers from the early 1980s (PC-DOS, MS-DOS, DR-DOS, Novell DOS, FreeDOS), although the term was also used before and after this to refer to any disk-based operating system (such as the Data General Diskette Operating System for their minicomputers, or for the TRS-80 DOS used when the computer was upgraded from cassette data storage to diskette).

Derived terms[edit]



DOS (plural DOSes)

  1. (military) Initialism of date of service.
  2. (military) Initialism of date of separation.
  3. (computing, Internet) Initialism of denial of service.
  4. (sciences) Initialism of density of states.
  5. (education) Initialism of director of studies.

Further reading[edit]