- noun a number of bits of data operated on simultaneously by a CPU in one machine cycle, often 8, 16 or 32 bits
- The fundamental unit of storage for a given computer architecture. It represents the maximum number of bits that can be held in its registers and be processed at one time. A word for computers with a 32-bit data bus is 32 bits, or 4 bytes. A word for computers with a 256-bit data bus is 256 bits, or 32 bytes, and so on. Also called word, or computer word.