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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

by 1992, initialism (acronym) for personal digital assistant.

PDA (disambiguation)

A PDA is most commonly a personal digital assistant, also known as a personal data assistant, a mobile electronic device.

PDA may also refer to:

In science, medicine and technology:

  • Patent ductus arteriosus, a heart defect
  • Posterior descending artery, an alternative name for the posterior interventricular artery
  • Photodiode array, a type of detector
  • Polydiacetylenes, a family of conducting polymers
  • Potato dextrose agar, a microbiological media for culturing yeast and fungus
  • Pathological demand avoidance syndrome

In mathematics:

  • Pitch detection algorithm, to find the pitch of a signal
  • Pushdown automaton, a type of abstract device in automata theory

In music:

  • "PDA" (song), a song by Interpol
  • "PDA", a song by the Backstreet Boys from This Is Us
  • P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care), a song by John Legend

In politics:

  • Alternative Democratic Pole, a political party in Colombia (Polo Democrático Alternativo)
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act, US
  • Progressive Democratic Alliance, a past political party in British Columbia, Canada
  • Progressive Democrats of America, faction
  • Party of Democratic Action, a Bosniak party in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Aruban Democratic Party, an Aruban political party (Partido Democrático Arubano)


  • Parenteral Drug Association
  • Pharmacists' Defence Association, UK
  • Peruvian Debate Association, for inter-school debating
  • Pinoy Dream Academy, the Philippine franchise of Endemol's Star Academy
  • Population and Community Development Association, Thailand
  • Professional Driver Association, of NASCAR drivers before the 1969 Talladega 500
  • Player Development Academy Soccer Club located in Zarephath, NJ

Other uses:

  • PDA (The Office), episode from US TV series
  • Past Doctor Adventures, spin-off novels from the BBC's Doctor Who
  • Public development authority, government-owned corporation in Washington, US
  • Private defense agency
  • Pub Design Awards
  • Public display of affection
  • Professional Development Award, offered by the Scottish Qualification Authority.
PDA (The Office)

"PDA" is the sixteenth episode of seventh season of the American comedy television series The Office and the show's 142nd episode overall. Written by Robert Padnick and directed by series creator Greg Daniels, the episode was shown on February 10, 2011, on NBC. This episode received positive reviews and was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Television: Episodic Comedy.

PDA (cyclecar)

Pickering, Darby and Allday Ltd, PDA, was a British automobile manufacturer from 1912-1913. They built the PDA Cyclecar at their works in Birmingham, equipped with V2-engines from various manufacturers. Approximately 15 units were built.

Usage examples of "pda".

She turned the buckley's AI emulation all the way off to use the PDA as a dumb cube reader and inserted the cube.

Resolving from the client's PC, e-book reader, or PDA has the advantage of being able to respond to the user's specific condition (location, time of day, etc.

There was an ear bud, a throat mike that wasn't much more than a patch and a small device that looked like a PDA in a belt rig.

She let him get past her and got lost in the crowds behind him, locking up the wheels, shoving the helmet and shades back into the pack, changing the posture and walk a bit, ear buds into a pocket, PDA to the front pocket, swallow the gum.

He took out a fat cell phone, which was also a PDA, looked up a name, and pressed the button.

Using pictures conjured up by Bunny on her PDA, Bytina, I managed to point out images of Klahds who were not too limited, not too unpopular, and a bit more sentient than their first choices.

Dozens of laptop computers, piles of high-end audio equipment, perhaps fifty televisions, and what appeared to be hundreds of PDAs were lined up on raw pine-board shelves along the walls.

Internet will be incorporated in the future into portable computers, palmtops, PDAs, mobile phones, cable television, telephones (with voice interface), home appliances and even wrist watches.

In the next volume of this series, we will be reissuing the remainder of the IP stories as well as all of the stories involving such outfits as the Space Force, the PDA, etc.

Fortunately, everything but true AI was well within the reach of a modern PDA, so he didn't have to worry about Beed twigging to the presence of a real AID and how very much of his daily work activity was being recorded.

He knew that more and more computers and PDAs were operating wirelessly these days, but as far as he knew, his older ThinkPad didn’t have that capability.