1. Acronym for Domain Name System. The hierarchical system by which hosts on the Internet have both domain name addresses (such as bluestem.prairienet.org) and IP addresses (such as 22.214.171.124). The domain name address is used by human users and is automatically translated into the numerical IP address, which is used by the packet-routing software. DNS names consist of a top-level domain (such as .com, .org, and .net), a second-level domain (the site name of a business, an organization, or an individual), and possibly one or more subdomains (servers within a second-level domain). See also domain name address, IP address.
2. Acronym for Domain Name Service. The Internet utility that implements the Domain Name System. DNS servers, also called name servers, maintain databases containing the addresses and are accessed transparently to the user. See also Domain Name System (definition 1), DNS server.
Domain Name System. A mechanism used in the Internet for translating names of host computers into addresses. The DNS also allows host computers not directly on the Internet to have registered names in the same style.