What does open source mean?

Definitions for open source

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word open source.


  1. open source(Noun)

    The practice of providing open-source code for a product.

  2. open source(Noun)

    Open-source software in general.

  3. open source(Verb)

    To make open-source.

  4. Origin: Coined by Christine Peterson in January 1998.


  1. Open source

    In production and development, open source as a philosophy promotes a universal access via free license to a product's design or blueprint, and b) universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone. Before the phrase open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used a variety of terms for the concept; open source gained hold with the rise of the Internet, and the attendant need for massive retooling of the computing source code. Opening the source code enabled a self-enhancing diversity of production models, communication paths, and interactive communities. The open-source software movement arose to clarify the environment that the new copyright, licensing, domain, and consumer issues created. Generally, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source sprouted in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. open source

    [common; also adj. open-source] Term coined in March 1998 following the Mozilla release to describe software distributed in source under licenses guaranteeing anybody rights to freely use, modify, and redistribute, the code. The intent was to be able to sell the hackers' ways of doing software to industry and the mainstream by avoiding the negative connotations (to suits) of the term “free software”. For discussion of the follow-on tactics and their consequences, see the Open Source Initiative site.Five years after this term was invented, in 2003, it is worth noting the huge shift in assumptions it helped bring about, if only because the hacker culture's collective memory of what went before is in some ways blurring. Hackers have so completely refocused themselves around the idea and ideal of open source that we are beginning to forget that we used to do most of our work in closed-source environments. Until the late 1990s open source was a sporadic exception that usually had to live on top of a closed-source operating system and alongside closed-source tools; entire open-source environments like Linux and the *BSD systems didn't even exist in a usable form until around 1993 and weren't taken very seriously by anyone but a pioneering few until about five years later.

Editors Contribution

  1. open source

    Is intellectual property, especially computer source code, that is made available to the general public by its creators not for a fee.

    Many software developers make their open source software available not for a fee to the general public as they feel the public can add value and benefit.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of open source in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of open source in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Ryutaro Mori:

    For a highly complex system like flying cars, the success highly depends on the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge and experiences, our unique advantage is that we, as a nonprofit, volunteer organization, encourage open-source collaborations.

  2. Bob Sutton:

    It’s Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, when revolutionaries win, they become the enemy of the next group to rise up. Obama was a radical before he became The Man. Apple is The Man. Microsoft is n’t a good enemy now that the new CEO talks about the importance of open-source software.

Images & Illustrations of open source

  1. open sourceopen sourceopen source

Translations for open source

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"open source." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 17 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/open source>.

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