peripheral

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peripheral

Anatomy of, relating to, or situated near the surface of the body
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

peripheral

[pə′rif·ə·rəl]
(anatomy)
Pertaining to or located at or near the surface of a body or an organ.
(computer science)
(science and technology)
Remote from the center; marginal; on the periphery.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

peripheral

(hardware)
(Or "peripheral device", "device") Any part of a computer other than the CPU or working memory, i.e. disks, keyboards, monitors, mice, printers, scanners, tape drives, microphones, speakers, cameras, to list just the less exotic ones.

High speed working memory, such as RAM, ROM or, in the old days, core would not normally be referred to as peripherals. The more modern term "device" is also more general in that it is used for things such as a pseudo-tty, a RAM drive, or a network adaptor.

Some argue that, since the advent of the personal computer, the motherboard, hard disk, keyboard, mouse, and monitor are all parts of the base system, and only use the term "peripheral" for optional additional components.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

peripheral

Any input, output or storage device connected externally or internally to the computer's CPU, such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, hard disk, graphics tablet, scanner, joystick or paddle. Pronounced "per-if-uh-rul." See peripheral bus.
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