A mid-level computer built to perform complex computations while dealing efficiently with a high level of input and output from users connected via terminals. Minicomputers also frequently connect to other minicomputers on a network and distribute processing among all the attached machines. Minicomputers are used heavily in transaction-processing applications and as interfaces between mainframe computer systems and wide area networks. See also computer, mainframe computer, microcomputer, supercomputer, wide area network. Compare midrange computer, workstation (definition 2).
Mid-sized digital computer.
Multiuser computer with a size and processing power between those of a mainframe and a microcomputer. Nowadays almost all minicomputers are based on microprocessors.
Minicomputers are often used in medium-sized businesses and in university departments handling database or other commercial programs and running scientific or graphical applications.