Definition of system noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsɪstəm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪstəm//
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  1. 1  [countable] an organized set of ideas or theories or a particular way of doing something the British educational system system for doing something a new system for assessing personal tax bills system of something a system of government see also binary, metric system Wordfindercabinet, checks and balances, constitution, federal, government, minister, the Opposition, parliament, politics, system Wordfindercapitalism, communism, democracy, dictatorship, fascism, imperialism, liberal, radical, socialism, system
  2. 2  [countable] a group of things, pieces of equipment, etc. that are connected or work together a transport system heating systems a stereo system a security system see also ecosystem, expert system, operating system, public address system, solar system
  3. 3  [countable] a human or an animal body, or a part of it, when it is being thought of as the organs and processes that make it function You have to wait until the drugs have passed out of your system. the male reproductive system see also central nervous system, digestive system, immune system
  4. 4the system [singular] (informal, usually disapproving) the rules or people that control a country or an organization, especially when they seem to be unfair because you cannot change them You can't beat the system (= you must accept it). young people rebelling against the system
  5. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from French système or late Latin systema, from Greek sustēma, from sun- ‘with’ + histanai ‘set up’.Extra examples For this month only, installing the system is free. He played the legal system to his own advantage. How is the system organized? It’s not your fault—blame the system. Just reboot the system and try again. Returning to work after a long break can be a terrible shock to the system. She spent her years at school fighting the system. The air-conditioning system failed. The entire computer system went down. The game has a complex scoring system. The governor referred to a prison system that was bankrupt of compassion. The law applies to schools within the state system. The new system is overly complex. The so-called reforms merely perpetuate an unjust system. The system runs on this workstation. They are all part of the corrupt system we need to change. They devised an appropriate system for presenting the required information. This case proves that the system works effectively. This system allows you to study at your own speed. Under the new system, all children will be monitored by a senior social worker. We are implementing a new system of stock control. We’re designing a voice-recognition system. We’re looking to replace the existing system. You can never beat the system! a backlog of cases clogging up the system a closed system with a rigidly defined set of choices a fault in the sound system a valve in the circulatory system an attempt to bypass the bureaucratic system an information retrieval system an integrated transport system at another point in the education system attempts to disrupt the rail system faults in the data processing system modernizing their judicial system perpetuating an unjust system schools within the public system the central nervous system the need to modernize the judicial system Fortunately the class system is not as rigid as it once was. He is currently on a life-support system in the local hospital. I bought a new stereo/​audio system last week. Once your systems are in place you can concentrate on the main focus of your business. Our system of granting visas is unnecessarily complicated. The alarm system had been switched off. The country’s economic system is close to collapse. The justice system is based on just one or two fundamental principles. The latest computer system is much more efficient. The new system is designed to eliminate fraud. Their existing system of government seems to work reasonably well. There is a national system for exchanging essential information. They have a highly bureaucratic system. They have a modern and efficient health care system. They introduced a democratic parliamentary system in the 1980s. This is a highly effective system for storing data. We need to re-examine the systems we are currently using. We’re hoping to improve the national transport system. What do you think of the current educational system? What kind of heating system do you use? a heating/​computer system the educational/​justice systemIdioms
    get something out of your system
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    (informal) to do something so that you no longer feel a very strong emotion or have a strong desire I was very angry with him, but now I feel I've got it out of my system.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: system