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1. of plants
a. capable of forming successful grafts
b. capable of successful self-fertilization
2. (of pieces of machinery, computer equipment, etc.) capable of being used together without special modification or adaptation
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Different systems (e.g., programs, file formats, protocols, even programming languages) that can work together or exchange data are said to be compatible.

See also backward compatible, forward compatible.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


The degree with which software works with hardware and/or other software. As hardware and software evolve, compatibility is a fundamental problem that never ends in the computer industry. At some point in time, new hardware instructions have to be developed that allow a computer to process more efficiently, and existing software has to be updated to take advantage of it. Equally important is the enhancement of operating systems and their related development systems in order to perform new tasks. Applications have to be modified to take advantage of them. See standards.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Software runs under: DOS 3.0 or higher; supports Novell NetWare, LANtastic; HP LaserJet and compatible printers.
2) Are the messages that are sent compatible with the channels that are used?
This job is also compatible to the current physical capacity rating ("L") of our hypothetical client.
The music service is compatible with Windows Media Player 7.1 for Windows 2000 and XP, and portable music players running Windows Media DRM 10, which manages copyright protection.
Resoflex R-296, R-460, R-766, R-804 and R-446 resinous plasticizers for use with film-forming resins that are generally compatible with other plasticizers.
DiamondKote, described in the company's one-page data sheet, is a water-based, environmentally compatible mold release agent designed for applications to ambient and hot metallic mold surfaces.
All mobile handset models from Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo are to be made compatible with GSM networks, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper in Japan.
Compatible castings are those that fit your operation, are clearly within the firm's capabilities and flow well through the plant.
The Dolphin 2000/3000[TM] sensor line provides a full range of reusable and disposable compatible pulse oximetry sensors, including Nellcor[R] compatible sensors.

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