If I say "peripheral equipment", does this always refer to equipment attached to computers (such as printers, mice, keyboards, etc), or can it also be used for other things? For example, can I talk about "peripheral equipment" for a guitar?


  • Did you look up the definition of "peripheral"? It means something that's not at the center of attention, but literally or figuratively off to one side. The real question is whether a listener would understand the meaning when applied to, say, a capo, and that would depend on the listener and the context.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 12:46

2 Answers 2


The search term

"peripheral equipment" -computer -computers

entered into the google gets about 350K hits, the first few of which are about ancillary machinery in various manufacturing processes.

What's a piece of peripheral equipment for a guitar? A pick?

  • No, I mean various cables to connect it to loudspeakers, the loudspeakers themselves, and so on.
    – Ilanysong
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 9:46


Not relating to the main or most important part

Merriam Webster Dictionary Definition.

This would indicate that whilst it is a term that can be used with equipment for Computers, it is not necessarily constrained to this usage. For example:

A person can be a peripheral member of a group, thereby not being a core member but perhaps an outsider or transitory member.

For a guitar; a peripheral may be an amplifier (the guitar will work fine without, the amplifier is a piece of peripheral equipment to boost the sound).

Essentially anything that fits the 'not the most important part' criteria can be classed as peripheral.

  • Certainly the word "peripheral" predates electronic computers by at least a year or two.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 12:49

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