system sys‧tem [ˈsɪstm] noun [countable]
an arrangement or organization of ideas, methods, or ways of working:

• Deregulation has created worries about the stability of the country's financial system.

• All staff will benefit from a well-run performance appraisal system.

acˌcelerated ˈcost reˌcovery ˌsystem abbreviation ACRS [uncountable] ACCOUNTING
a way of calculating the value of assets used in the US, in which the value of an asset is taken to decrease quite quickly, over a period of time fixed by the tax authorities, rather than over the period of time in which it actually remains useful to a company
acˈcounting ˌsystem ACCOUNTING
1. [countable] the rules used for accounting in a particular company or place:

• Overhead changes are reported differently in different accounting systems.

2. [countable] a computer system used for accounting:

• There are benefits you could derive from a properly set up and run computerised accounting system.

ˈbanking ˌsystem [countable] BANKING
the way banks work together to make payments, make money available etc:

• A financial crisis in Asia could affect the world banking system.

ˈcard index ˌsystem [countable]
a method of storing information on cards, usually arranged in alphabetical order in drawers:

• This computerised index replaced a card index system that had to be updated by hand.

comˈputer ˌsystem [countable] COMPUTING
a group of connected computers in an organization; = NETWORK:

• the bank's computer system

ˌdatabase ˈmanagement ˌsystem abbreviation DBMS [countable]
COMPUTING a computer program which organizes the information on a database and allows you to find and use it easily
deˌcision supˈport ˌsystem abbreviation DSS
[countable] COMPUTING a computer system that examines information about a business activity or situation and gives the people who manage a company the information they need to make important decisions
ˌdigital ˈnervous ˌsystem [countable] COMPUTING
the idea, suggested by Bill Gates, that network S of computers in companies should act like the human body's Nervous System (= system that sends brain messages), passing information between them so that companies can work more effectively:

• Microsoft seems to have a finely tuned digital nervous system.

ˈdisk ˌoperating ˌsystem abbreviation DOS [uncountable] COMPUTING
basic software that is loaded onto a computer system to make all the different parts work together:

• Disk Operating System is an operating system for computers that does not use graphics and operates using only text commands.

ˌeconomic ˈsystem [countable] ECONOMICS
the particular way in which the economy of a country is organized, for example whether the economy is controlled by the government or allowed to develop in its own way:

• a centrally controlled socialist economic system

ˌexpert ˈsystem [countable]
COMPUTING a computer system that contains a lot of information about a subject and is designed to copy the thought processes of experts in that subject so that it can help someone find an answer to a problem:

• Expert systems can improve human expertise and allow it to be used more efficiently in the specific working environment of aircraft maintenance.

ˈfiling ˌsystem [countable]
the method of organizing and arranging the information that is stored in an office, often on a computer:

• All users of the filing systems will be trained in keeping the computer records up to date.

• a manual filing system (= on paper, rather than on a computer )

ˌfixed inˈstalment ˌsystem [countable] ACCOUNTING
when the recorded value of an asset is reduced by a certain amount each year in a company's accounts. This amount is recorded as a loss until the value of the asset becomes equal to its value at the end of its useful life
ˈHay ˌsystem [singular]
HUMAN RESOURCES a way of measuring the responsibilities in a particular job and how well someone is doing in that job:

• Since the 1990s, the university has used the Hay system for classifying professional staff.

impuˈtation ˌsystem [singular] TAX
in Britain, a method of taxation in which the tax that company shareholders pay on their shares is taken into account when calculating the total amount of tax that must be paid:

• In most cases the imputation system ensures that nil and net earnings are the same.

inforˈmation ˌsystem [countable] COMPUTING
a computer system used to communicate information in an organization, for example an intranet
ˌjust-in-ˈtime ˌsystem [countable usually singular] COMMERCE
a system in which goods are produced or bought just before they are needed, reducing the costs to the firm of keeping the goods for a long period of time :

• For the just-in-time system to function, all of the parts that are made and supplied must meet predetermined quality standards.

ˈkanban ˌsystem [countable usually singular]
COMMERCE a system where parts are ordered just before they needed. This system is used in factories, and involves workers sending cards to other groups of workers when they need more goods:

• A kanban system is a means to achieve just-in-time ( JIT) production.

ˈlegacy ˌsystem [countable] COMPUTING
old software that is still used even though newer software is available:

• Many companies still rely on so-called legacy systems despite the revolution in the Internet and PCs.

ˈlegal ˌsystem [countable] LAW
the laws and the people and institutions that make them work in a particular country:

• Any reform of the legal system is an extremely long process.

ˌmanagement inforˈmation ˌsystem [countable] COMPUTING
a system that gives the people in charge of a company the information that they need to take decisions:

• The hallmark of a good management information system is that it should be politically neutral.

ˈmonetary ˌsystem [countable] ECONOMICS
the system of money in a particular country or the world as a whole, and the way that it is controlled by governments and central bank S:

• The most urgent task for the new regime is creating a well-functioning monetary system.

ˈopen ˌsystem [countable] COMPUTING
a computer system on which you can use application S (= programs for particular uses) that were designed to work on other systems:

• They are moving from mainframes to open systems that can link payroll with other human resources functions.

ˈoperating ˌsystem [countable] COMPUTING
the most basic software on a computer that allows it to work and programs to work on it:

• Windows is easily the dominant operating system of its kind in the desktop computer market.

ˈpull ˌsystem [countable usually singular] COMMERCE
a system in which only the quantity of goods that are needed are made, based on records of the quantity of goods that have just been sold. This system can help to reduce costs for storing goods and make delivery times shorter:

• The pull system was developed to eliminate the overproduction of goods.

— compare push system
ˈpush ˌsystem [countable usually singular] COMMERCE
a system in which more goods are made than are needed, so that there are plenty of goods available in case there is a sudden demand for them:

• A push system is a better approach when the demand of commodities exceeds supply.

— compare pull system
reˈward ˌsystem [countable] HUMAN RESOURCES
pay and things such as pensions, health insurance, and a company car that you get from being employed:

• A manager must design reward systems which satisfy individuals and the objectives of the organization.

straˌtegic inforˈmation ˌsystem abbreviation SIS [countable]
COMPUTING a computer system that helps a business to achieve a particular aim, or gain an advantage over similar organizations:

• A strategic information system assists a firm in realizing its long-term competitive goals.

— see also European Monetary System, metric system

* * *

system UK US /ˈsɪstəm/ noun [C]
a particular set of actions for doing something: »

They designed a system that tracks results.

a system for (doing) sth »

The bank has streamlined systems for switching accounts.

a system of (doing) sth »

The core of the fraud was a system of double billing.


a complaints/tax/trading system


The quota system limits the volumes of clothing that China can ship to the US.

a group of organizations that work together for a particular purpose, or have similar activities: »

the criminal justice system


the legal/financial system


Countries with better banking systems should have easier access to money at lower interest rates than those that do not.

MEASURES a particular method of counting, measuring, or weighing things: »

the metric system

a set of connected machines, etc. that operate together: »

They design and build solar electric systems.


We need to install a sprinkler system.

IT a set of computer equipment and programs used together for a particular purpose: »

At the moment, the company spends around €1million a year on its IT systems.


I can't process the order right now because our systems are down.


You need a password to get onto the system.

See also ACCOUNTING SYSTEM(Cf. ↑accounting system), COMPUTER SYSTEM(Cf. ↑computer system), DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM(Cf. ↑decision support system), DIGITAL NERVOUS SYSTEM(Cf. ↑digital nervous system), DISK OPERATING SYSTEM(Cf. ↑disk operating system), ECONOMIC SYSTEM(Cf. ↑economic system), ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM(Cf. ↑environmental management system), EXPERT SYSTEM(Cf. ↑expert system), FILING SYSTEM(Cf. ↑filing system), FIXED INSTALMENT SYSTEM(Cf. ↑fixed instalment system), THE HAY SYSTEM(Cf. ↑the Hay system), HUB-AND-SPOKE SYSTEM(Cf. ↑hub-and-spoke system), HUMAN RESOURCE INFORMATION SYSTEM(Cf. ↑human resource information system), IMPUTATION SYSTEM(Cf. ↑imputation system), INFORMATION SYSTEM(Cf. ↑information system), KANBAN(Cf. ↑kanban), LEGAL SYSTEM(Cf. ↑legal system), MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM(Cf. ↑management information system), MANUFACTURING INFORMATION SYSTEM(Cf. ↑manufacturing information system), MONETARY SYSTEM(Cf. ↑monetary system), OPEN SYSTEM(Cf. ↑open system), OPERATING SYSTEM(Cf. ↑operating system), PULL SYSTEM(Cf. ↑pull system), PUSH SYSTEM(Cf. ↑push system), REWARD SYSTEM(Cf. ↑reward system), STRATEGIC INFORMATION SYSTEM(Cf. ↑strategic information system)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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