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  • IPA(key): /ˈˌʌɪbiːˈɛm/
  • (file)

Proper noun[edit]


  1. Initialism of International Business Machines.
    • 2019 February 3, “UN Study: China, US, Japan Lead World AI Development”, in Voice of America[1], archived from the original on 7 February 2019:
      The study found that U.S. technology company IBM had by far the largest number of AI-related patents, with 8,920.
  2. Initialism of International Brotherhood of Magicians.
  3. (geology) Initialism of Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc.

Derived terms[edit]



IBM (countable and uncountable, plural IBMs)

  1. (weaponry) Initialism of intercontinental ballistic missile.
    Alternative form: ICBM
    • 1956 June, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, volume 12, number 6, page 186:
      They see this last possibility in an international agreement to stop further atomic and thermonuclear bomb tests and halt the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (IBMs).
    • 1987, Kenneth David Nichols, The Road to Trinity, page 294:
      Today we need a defense against IBM attack. When as chief of R&D I urged Army Ordnance to develop an antimissile missile, I heard repeatedly that you can't hit a bullet with a bullet, so it is impossible to develop such a missile.
    • 1990, William Elliott Butler, Perestroika and International Law, page 155:
      Thus, they limit to a strictly defined number the quantity of armed IBMs in the USSR and the United States, as well as ballistic missiles of submarines.
  2. (pathology) Initialism of inclusion body myositis.
  3. (figurative) A company that dominates its field.
    • 1968, George Washington University, Computers-in-Law Institute, National Law Center, The Law of Software: 1968 Proceedings:
      Univac was the IBM of the computer industry's incipiency; in 1952 Univac had virtually 100% of the market.
    • 1982, Tracy Kidder, The Soul Of A New Machine, →ISBN, page 238:
      First, to Sperry Univac, the descendent[sic] of the first real computer company, which might have become the IBM of the industry had it not blown its early lead;
    • 1990, Alfred Balk, The Myth of American Eclipse: The New Global Age, →ISBN, page 81:
      The US lead was mainly due to one firm, the IBM of its small, specialized field: Cray Research Inc.

Further reading[edit]

  • IBM”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • IBM”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present.