What does unix mean?

Definitions for unix
ˈyu nɪksunix

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word unix.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. UNIX, UNIX system, UNIX operating systemnoun

    trademark for a powerful operating system


  1. Unixnoun

    A computer operating system.

    Etymology: A pun on Multics; coined by Brian Kernighan.

  2. Unixnoun

    A derived work of Unix that qualifies for use of the Unix trademark.

    Etymology: A pun on Multics; coined by Brian Kernighan.

  3. Unixnoun

    A Unix-like operating system similar to Unix but not qualifying for use of the Unix trademark. Such systems are not strictly considered Unix but are often commonly described as such informally.

    GNU is not Unix.

    Etymology: A pun on Multics; coined by Brian Kernighan.

  4. Unixnoun

    The group of Unix operating systems as a whole.

    The Linux Kernel operating system is one of the most popular forms of Unix.

    Etymology: A pun on Multics; coined by Brian Kernighan.


  1. Unix

    Unix is a multitasking, multi-user computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs, including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas McIlroy, Michael Lesk and Joe Ossanna. First developed in assembly language, by 1973 it had been almost entirely recoded in C, greatly facilitating its further development and porting to other hardware. In 1974, UNIX was first licensed to an outside institution, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, by Greg Chesson and Donald B. Gillies. Today's Unix system evolution is split into various branches, developed over time by AT&T as well as various commercial vendors, universities, and non-profit organizations. The Open Group, an industry standards consortium, now owns the UNIX trademark. Only systems fully compliant with and certified according to the Single UNIX Specification are qualified to use the trademark; others might be called Unix system-like or Unix-like, although the Open Group disapproves of this term. However, the term Unix is often used informally to denote any operating system that closely resembles the trademarked system.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. Unix

    [In the authors' words, “A weak pun on Multics”; very early on it was “UNICS”] (also “UNIX”) An interactive timesharing system invented in 1969 by Ken Thompson after Bell Labs left the Multics project, originally so he could play games on his scavenged PDP-7. Dennis Ritchie, the inventor of C, is considered a co-author of the system. The turning point in Unix's history came when it was reimplemented almost entirely in C during 1972—1974, making it the first source-portable OS. Unix subsequently underwent mutations and expansions at the hands of many different people, resulting in a uniquely flexible and developer-friendly environment. By 1991, Unix had become the most widely used multiuser general-purpose operating system in the world — and since 1996 the variant called Linux has been at the cutting edge of the open source movement. Many people consider the success of Unix the most important victory yet of hackerdom over industry opposition (but see Unix weenie and Unix conspiracy for an opposing point of view). See Version 7, BSD, Linux.Archetypal hackers ken (left) and dmr (right).Some people are confused over whether this word is appropriately ‘UNIX’ or ‘Unix’; both forms are common, and used interchangeably. Dennis Ritchie says that the ‘UNIX’ spelling originally happened in CACM's 1974 paper The UNIX Time-Sharing System because “we had a new typesetter and troff had just been invented and we were intoxicated by being able to produce small caps.” Later, dmr tried to get the spelling changed to ‘Unix’ in a couple of Bell Labs papers, on the grounds that the word is not acronymic. He failed, and eventually (his words) “wimped out” on the issue. So, while the trademark today is ‘UNIX’, both capitalizations are grounded in ancient usage; the Jargon File uses ‘Unix’ in deference to dmr's wishes.

Suggested Resources

  1. UNIX

    What does UNIX stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the UNIX acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'unix' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2342

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'unix' in Nouns Frequency: #1067

How to pronounce unix?

How to say unix in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of unix in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of unix in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of unix in a Sentence

  1. Berkeley Vax/Unix Assembler Reference Manual (1983):

    This document describes the usage and input syntax of the Unix Vax-11 assembler As. As is designed for assembling code produced by the "C" compiler; certain concessions have been made to handle code written directly by people, but in general little sympathy has been extended.

  2. Henry Spencer:

    Those who do not understand UNIX are condemned to reinvent it -- badly.

  3. Jeremy S. Anderson:

    There are two major products that come out of Berkeley LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

Images & Illustrations of unix

  1. unixunixunixunixunix

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Translations for unix

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    pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas
    • A. famish
    • B. transpire
    • C. affront
    • D. loom

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