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Definition: set of instructions that controls the operation of a computer. There are two main kinds: applications programs, which carry out tasks for the benefit of the user – for example, word processing; and systems programs, which control the internal workings of the computer. A utility program is a systems program that carries out specific tasks for the user. Programs can be written in any of a number of programming languages but are always translated into machine code before they can be executed by the computer.
Source: Hutchinson Dictionary of Computing and the Internet. Abingdon, Oxfordshire, GBR: Helicon Publishing, 2005. p 429.