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 window (disambiguation) on Wikipedia
A window, viewed from inside.


From Middle English windowe, from Old Norse vindauga (window, literally wind-eye" or "wind-hole), equivalent to wind +‎ eye. Cognate with Scots windae and windock, Faroese vindeyga, Norwegian vindu, Danish vindue, archaic Swedish vindöga, Elfdalian windog and older German Windauge. Displaced native Old English ēagþȳrel (literally eye hole) (the rare direct descendant is eyethurl (window, pupil, etc.)). The “windows” among early Germanic peoples were just unglazed holes (eyes) in the wall or roof that permitted wind to pass through (Can this(+) etymology be sourced?).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈwɪndəʊ/
    • (file)
  • (US) enPR: wĭnʹdō, IPA(key): /ˈwɪndoʊ/
  • (some accents) enPR: wĭnʹdə, IPA(key): /ˈwɪndə/
  • Rhymes: -ɪndəʊ
  • Hyphenation: win‧dow


window (countable and uncountable, plural windows)

  1. An opening, usually covered by one or more panes of clear glass, to allow light and air from outside to enter a building or vehicle.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window at the old mare feeding in the meadow below by the brook, and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, [].
    • 1952, L. F. Salzman, Building in England, page 173:
      A window is an opening in a wall to admit light and air.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall.  Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime.
  2. An opening, usually covered by glass, in a shop which allows people to view the shop and its products from outside; a shop window.
    • 1915, G[eorge] A. Birmingham [pseudonym; James Owen Hannay], chapter I, in Gossamer, New York, N.Y.: George H. Doran Company, →OCLC:
      There is an hour or two, after the passengers have embarked, which is disquieting and fussy. [] Passengers wander restlessly about or hurry, with futile energy, from place to place. Pushing men hustle each other at the windows of the purser's office, under pretence of expecting letters or despatching telegrams.
  3. (architecture) The shutter, casement, sash with its fittings, or other framework, which closes a window opening.
  4. A period of time when something is available or possible; a limited opportunity.
    launch window;  window of opportunity;  You have a two-hour window of clear weather to finish working on the lawn.
    • 2018 July 8, Euan McKirdy, Hilary Whiteman, “Thai cave rescue: Divers enter cave to free boys”, in[1], CNN, retrieved 2018-07-08:
      But rescuers have a dwindling window of opportunity, with forecasters predicting the return of heavy monsoon rains in the coming days, effectively sealing off the cave until October.
    • 2017 August 25, Euan McKirdy et al., “Arrest warrant to be issued for former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra”, in[2], CNN, retrieved 2017-08-25:
      Now she'll be thinking about fleeing. (The verdict delay) provides a window for potential flight....if she has not fled already.
    • 2019 November 6, “Network News”, in Rail, page 26:
      An extensive period of trial running will then take place in the first quarter of 2020. The full opening of the Elizabeth Line is still planned to be within a six-month window between October 2020 and March 2021.
  5. Something that allows one to see through or into something
    His journal provides a window into his otherwise obscure life.
  6. A restricted range.
    • 2015, Patrick R. Nicolas, Scala for Machine Learning, page 109:
      In this case, a band-pass filter using a range or window of frequencies is appropriate to isolate the frequency or the group of frequencies that characterize a specific cycle.
  7. (graphical user interface) A rectangular area on a computer terminal or screen containing some kind of user interface, displaying the output of and allowing input for one of a number of simultaneously running computer processes.
  8. A figure formed of lines crossing each other.
    • 1709, William King, Art of Cookery:
      till he has windows on his bread and butter
  9. (medicine) The time between first infection and detectability.
  10. (military, historical, uncountable) Synonym of chaff (strips of material intended to confuse radar)
  11. (signal processing) A function multiplied with a signal to reduce spectral leakage when performing a Fourier transform.

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Terms derived from window (noun)

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


window (third-person singular simple present windows, present participle windowing, simple past and past participle windowed)

  1. (transitive) To furnish with windows.
  2. (transitive) To place at or in a window.
  3. (transitive, signal processing) To apply a window function to (a signal).