Find the word definition

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

by 1970, an abbreviation from compressor-decompressor or coder-decoder, on model of modem.


n. (context computing English) A device or program capable of performing transformations on a data stream or signal.


A codec is a device or computer program for encoding or decoding a digital data stream or signal. Codec is a portmanteau of coder-decoder or, less commonly, compressor-decompressor.

A codec encodes a data stream or signal for transmission, storage or encryption, or decodes it for playback or editing. Codecs are used in videoconferencing, streaming media, and video editing applications.

Codec (disambiguation)

Codec may mean:

  • An audio codec converts between analog and digital representations or performs data compression.
  • Codec, a hardware device or computer software used for coding and decoding transformations of data or signal media streams
  • Codec, a fictional radio device used in the Metal Gear games
  • A video codec is a device or software that enables video compression and/or decompression for digital video.