1. Originally (with lower-case initial): a computer network comprising or connecting a number of smaller networks, such as two or more local area networks connected by a shared communications protocol; an internetwork; spec. such a network (called ARPANET) operated by the United States Department of Defense. In later use (usually the Internet): the global network comprising a loose confederation of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols, which facilitates various information and communication systems such as the World Wide Web and email. Also: the resources accessible via this global network, esp. the World Wide Web. In early use usually attributive (see Compounds 1, Compounds 3).Sometimes shortened to the Net (see net n.1 7b).The ARPANET was established in 1969, and initially connected a number of universities, research organizations, and defence organizations. As standardized network protocols were developed, other networks were established using this same technology, which were subsequently connected to one another and to the ARPANET to form the modern global Internet.Commercial and domestic use of the Internet grew rapidly in the 1990s, at which time the World Wide Web (proposed in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee) became its most widely recognized application (causing Internet and World Wide Web to be frequently taken as synonymous).
2. With the. The users of the Internet considered collectively; (hence) preferences, characteristics, or attitudes of these users, attributed to the Internet itself.
Internet of things n. a proposed development of the Internet in which many everyday objects are embedded with microchips giving them network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.
C1. General attributive and objective, as Internet access, Internet company, Internet connection, Internet service, Internet site, Internet user, etc.
C2. With past participles, forming adjectives, as Internet-based, Internet-connected, Internet-driven, Internet-related, etc.
Internet addict n. an enthusiastic, excessive, or compulsive user of the Internet.
Internet addiction n. excessive or compulsive use of the Internet; an instance of this; also attributive in Internet addiction disorder (orig. humorous).
Internet address n. a string of characters which identifies a location on an internetwork; spec. a URL or a domain on the Internet (see domain n. Additions).
Internet appliance n. (a) a household appliance with connectivity to the Internet; (b) a lightweight, simple computer designed to provide easy access to the Internet, typically lacking some of the power or functionality of a standard PC.
Internet banking n. the use of banking services via the Internet; cf. electronic banking n. at electronic adj. Special uses, online banking n. at online adj. and adv. Special uses.
Internet cafe n. an establishment (originally and esp. one serving food and drink) with multiple computer terminals providing access to the Internet, usually for a fee; = cybercafe n.In quot. 1993 as the title of a column offering readers an introduction to, and advice on using, the Internet.
Internet-capable adj. (of a device, system, etc.) capable of connecting to the Internet or providing access to it.
Internet chat room n. a chat room accessed via the Internet; see chat room n. at chat n.1 Additions.
Internet connectivity n. the fact of being connected to the Internet; (also) the capacity or quality of such a connection.
Internet dating n. the use of services available on the Internet to find romantic or sexual partners; frequently attributive, as Internet dating service, Internet dating site, etc.; cf. online dating n. at online adj. and adv. Special uses.
Internet-enabled adj. (of a device, system, etc.) capable of connecting to or making use of the Internet; (originally also, of information) made available on the Internet.
Internet filtering n. the systematic blocking of Internet access to certain websites or certain types of data, typically employed by parents, employers, and government agencies; frequently attributive.
Internet forum n. a facility on a computer network (now usually the Internet) for users to share information or opinions on a particular topic, esp. a website dedicated to such discussion; cf. forum n. Additions.
Internet gateway n. a device or interface for facilitating or enabling connection to the Internet; see gateway n.1 Additions.
Internet kiosk n. a kiosk equipped with a computer or computers where users can access the Internet or use an online self-service facility.
Internet Protocol n. a standard that specifies the format and addressing scheme of packets of data sent over the Internet or similar networks; abbreviated IP.
Internet radio n. audio programmes or channels which are made available via the Internet, typically using streaming; the activity or industry associated with this.
Internet-ready adj. ready to utilize the Internet; (now) spec. (of a computer device, system, etc.) designed or able to connect to the Internet.
Internet Relay Chat n. a system allowing two or more users to send text messages to one another in real time; (also) the notional space in which such messaging takes place; abbreviated IRC.In quot. 1989: a program facilitating use of this system.
Internet search n. a search for information on the Internet; esp. a search using a particular string of words or characters entered into a search engine; cf. web search n. at web n. Compounds 4b.
Internet service provider n. a company or other organization which provides access to the Internet and related services; abbreviated ISP.
Internet shopping n. shopping carried out on the Internet; the ordering of goods and services via the Internet; cf. home shopping n., online shopping n. at online adj. and adv. Special uses.
Internet startup n. an Internet business that is in the process of starting up; cf. start-up adj. 1.
Internet traffic n. data transferred across an internetwork, esp. the Internet; the quantity or flow of such data.
Internet worm n. a computer worm (see worm n. Additions) able to spread between computers via the Internet.
► indicates date of composition for this text (as opposed to date of documentary evidence). More