Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

DOS (Disk Operating System)

a COMPUTER program which enables a computer to record and retrieve data from a rotating magnetic or vinyl disk. The most widely-used disk operating system is MSDOS, which is used on computers that are compatible with the IBM personal computer.
References in periodicals archive ?
For vendors with both DOS and Windows products, most of their new customers opt for the Windows versions, but a significant number of old-timers still cling to DOS.
From 1981, when the IBM PC was introduced, until around 1993, all the best-selling PC programs were DOS programs.
Dataflow Plus for DOS is a data-acquisition and SPC/SQC package with a number of molding-specific algorithms.
Although task-switching can also be accomplished under DOS (with specific add-on software), Windows does it better.
Clearly, the DOS market is shrinking fast, and the inevitable conclusion is that in a few years--and maybe even sooner--DOS users may not have a choice: It will be Windows or back to columnar pads.
It has its own proprietary operating system (different from DOS and UNIX) which provides graphical representations of programs and commands called "icons.
There are many choices available for under $1,000, including both DOS and Windows products.
Even though just about every DOS microcomputer shipped in the last four years has arrived with Windows already installed, tax preparation vendors have been slow to rewrite their software to use the graphical interface.
Both DOS and Windows limit the name of a file to eight characters with a three-character extension.
We use the DOS version of WordPerfect and it works just fine for us.
A block of data is selected and copied to the Clipboard from either a DOS or Windows application and then pasted into the program of your choice.
Advocates of a DOS claim that a science department could not only salvage programs within agencies that have been threatened with extinction--from the august Departments of Energy (DOE) and Commerce to the tiny Office of Technology Assessment--but could also confer greater prestige on research.