Definition of peripheral in US English:



  • 1Relating to or situated on the edge or periphery of something.

    ‘the peripheral areas of Europe’
    • ‘The size and shape of this interior part resemble the size and shape of the anterior end of a normal worm, and the apparent overgrowth of the anterior tip of the mutant is peripheral to this tapered part.’
    • ‘Instead, it is a better idea to sample from the peripheral edges of affected areas where plant symptoms are less severe and nematode population densities are still high.’
    • ‘The shell has a rubber edging adhesive along its peripheral contour and is painted with a chemical agent-resistive coating.’
    • ‘Not only has the course of these rivulets been changed by encroachers within the township, but also in peripheral areas falling in the neighbouring state of Punjab.’
    • ‘We are looking to increase mobility around the peripheral joints whilst maintaining stability in the core.’
    • ‘All day she had been there on the peripheral edge of his thoughts.’
    • ‘He said that the drainage and the sewerage of the peripheral areas is mainly contributing to the pollution of the Dal Lake since all the waste matter of the surrounding areas goes into it.’
    • ‘In addition it affects people in the peripheral areas of the county as the surrounding health boards are now refusing to accept patients from outside their own catchment area.’
    • ‘Large chunks of peripheral area, especially on the eastern banks, have been encroached upon and water areas are being turned into vegetable gardens or even residential areas without any check.’
    • ‘A frame pattern is formed on the array substrate at the outer side of the display area to prevent a light leakage at the outer peripheral edge of the display area.’
    • ‘Focusing on each point allows the eye to detect a conflict within the foveal field, as well as contrasting or moving objects in the peripheral area between the center of each scanning block.’
    • ‘These peripheral areas typically attracted rural migrants to the city during World War II and since in pursuit of better living conditions and economic opportunities.’
    • ‘Most of these people were much more peripheral to the dynamics of change so apparent in the south-eastern part of the British Isles and in Scotland, and had less engagement with those outside their regions.’
    • ‘The light colored splotches appear as a more or less solid mass in the peripheral area of the coral, but they have a lamellar distribution of blebs farther in.’
    • ‘Fuel demand in provincial areas will be higher than that in Bangkok and its peripheral areas, since a large number of people will travel to celebrate the holiday in other regions of the country.’
    • ‘While watching TV, turn on a few peripheral lights to give your eyes additional focusing cues.’
    • ‘The commission's proposals will be ready in late spring in time to be debated at the two EU conferences in Galway and Mayo on rural development and peripheral areas.’
    • ‘Enlargement is focusing minds intently in Brussels, the member state capitals, in peripheral areas such as Scotland and, above all, across eastern Europe.’
    • ‘Bangalore in the future is to grow only in zones - right from the central business district to green belt or agricultural zones in the peripheral areas.’
    • ‘I would urge the Minister to take the bold steps required and make provision for the service in these peripheral areas now.’
    outlying, outer, on the edge, on the outskirts, outermost, fringe, border, surrounding
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Of secondary or minor importance; marginal.
      ‘she will see their problems as peripheral to her own’
      • ‘She believes that matters such as the effect on the environment or possible health risks are peripheral to the core of the issue.’
      • ‘One is to ignore the issue as peripheral to what is of permanent importance in his work, namely the innovative comparative political sociology and cultural history that we have examined in the previous two chapters.’
      • ‘Recall in the first instance that much of this is peripheral to our lives.’
      • ‘The struggles, challenges, dysfunctions, dreams and accomplishments of families in the past, therefore, are not peripheral to historical inquiry, but central to it.’
      • ‘One or more floor tom-toms followed and by 1940 the drum kit had reached its present form, though any number of peripheral instruments may be added by the player.’
      • ‘You know you're watching a bad zombie film when the zombies are peripheral to the sexy outfits, time-and-space-defying stunts, and deliriously obnoxious soundtrack.’
      • ‘He begins by telling us what education is although it is peripheral to the central thrust of my argument.’
      • ‘Of course, all this, as well as the leafy branches and stuffed birds, is peripheral to the music and suggests that they themselves realise the songs aren't their strongest selling point and need some kind of quirky garnish.’
      • ‘But history as recent as the past 200 years is peripheral to his interests.’
      • ‘I cannot resist the temptation to respond to a few specific points, although they are peripheral to the central, important matter of the controversy itself.’
      • ‘Foreign policy and national security issues are not peripheral to the task of national governance - they are central, as we have seen in the events of the last few weeks.’
      • ‘It seems that there is a real wave over the last, let's say four to five years, of bands that put absolutely no effort into lyrics as though they were completely peripheral to the song.’
      • ‘And why this unseemly obsession with the Reformatories, when the Reformatories were peripheral to this story?’
      • ‘Under this standard, a subpoena that is peripheral to the case, or that is drawn too broadly or vaguely, is unlikely to be enforced unless it is focussed and narrowed.’
      • ‘Fiction is permitted so long as sport is the engine of the narrative rather than being merely incidental or peripheral to it.’
      • ‘Of course, for the students, who graduated last week, all the technological details of why and how were peripheral to having a chance to learn the violin.’
      • ‘A decade ago, NGOs were fairly peripheral to major international diplomacy.’
      • ‘The Charter may be extended to claims that are marginal or peripheral to the philosophical purposes of a bill of rights.’
      • ‘This ubiquity of unavoidable helplessness points to the possibility that dependency is not peripheral to the social order, but is somehow central to it.’
      • ‘The parts of economics most familiar to organizational theorists, agency theory and transaction-cost theory, are peripheral to the argument.’
      secondary, subsidiary, incidental, tangential, marginal, minor, unimportant, lesser, inessential, non-essential, immaterial, superficial, ancillary, borderline
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2attributive (of a device) able to be attached to and used with a computer, although not an integral part of it.
      • ‘Most types of peripheral device have been honed to perfection.’
      • ‘Leading the parade in the past have been desktop and large computers, computer peripheral goods, and traditional wired telephone equipment.’
      • ‘In the PC environment an example would be peripheral devices that can send data to each other without first going through the PC.’
      • ‘During periods of heavy USB peripheral use, printing delays often stretched into minutes.’
      • ‘It will be paid in the form of vouchers that eligible consumers will be able to use to buy desktop hardware, laptops, tablet PCs, software and peripheral devices from any vendor.’
      • ‘While we don't have really anything out of the ordinary here it is everything that we need so you shouldn't have any problems when it comes to installing your peripheral devices.’
      • ‘The routers are also used to connect computers with printers and other peripheral devices.’
      • ‘Each peripheral then responds, which results in a two-way communication between the host PC and its associated peripheral devices.’
      • ‘The USB specification for attaching peripheral components (modem, printer, etc) to computers is an example.’
      • ‘The higher bandwidth of the memory bus compared to the processor bus can be used efficiently by the peripheral devices working with the memory as well as for hardware data prefetch algorithms.’
      • ‘The back of the truck is anchored firmly to the asphalt by a ton of documents, storage media, books, computers, and peripheral devices.’
      • ‘Hidden in empty books were many peripheral devices such as microphones, cameras, and such.’
      • ‘It is designed for new mass storage devices and other peripheral devices that require very high bandwidth.’
      • ‘In addition, four USB ports are available for connection to a variety of peripheral devices such as printers, modems or external storage devices.’
      • ‘Examples of these peripheral devices are single-handed keyboards, lightweight headset pointers, and trackballs to replace mice.’
      • ‘Two front-mounted USB ports make it easier to connect peripheral devices.’
      • ‘It executes program instructions, writes and reads information to or from memory, and accesses peripheral devices such as serial ports and disk controllers.’
      • ‘Disconnect the computer and any attached peripheral equipment from the mains.’
      • ‘If no peripheral device is located, then the application will select a default peripheral device.’
      • ‘These connectors can be plugged into devices such as computers and peripheral devices such that the respective components can be interconnected.’
    3. 1.3Anatomy Near the surface of the body, with special reference to the circulation and nervous system.
      ‘lymphocytes from peripheral blood’
      • ‘Segmental hypotonias are associated with disorders of the motor neuron, peripheral nerve, neuromuscular junction and skeletal muscle.’
      • ‘The smooth musculature of the larger blood vessels is relaxed, including the coronary, systemic peripheral and pulmonary arteries.’
      • ‘Myelin is present in both the central and peripheral nervous system.’
      • ‘Patients who do smoke are told to stop smoking, as it reduces peripheral blood circulation, especially to the skin, and impedes healing.’
      • ‘It is thought that painful lesions are those that involve peritoneal surfaces innervated by peripheral spinal nerves, not those innervated by the autonomic nervous system.’


  • A peripheral device.

    • ‘In addition to lost space, money on these extra peripherals is wasted.’
    • ‘Consumers can also buy inexpensive hard disks and other peripherals.’
    • ‘Instead, it wants to build these devices as standard peripherals on its processors.’
    • ‘The growth market sectors in the current and coming fiscal years are peripherals and display devices.’
    • ‘The jobs of these printers are to be peripherals that apply ink to paper.’