- (WYE-fye)n.Wireless fidelity: a networking scheme that creates a wireless connection between a device and a network or the Internet (cf. hi-fi). Also: WiFi.Example Citation:"From the home, we move to public access spaces. Working with companies like Wayport, MobileStar, and Airwave, hundreds and hundreds of airports, hotels, and even restaurants are rolling out Wi-Fi access. On Jan. 3, Starbucks and Microsoft announced that in early spring each coffeehouse would begin offering Wi-Fi access for its patrons."— J. William Gurley, "Why Wi-Fi Is The Next Big Thing," Fortune, March 5, 2001Earliest Citation:The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) announced today the selection of the Silicon Valley Networking Lab Inc. (SVNL) to provide rigorous Wireless LAN product interoperability testing. WECA also unveiled Wi-Fi(TM), the new consumer brand identity for the IEEE 802.11 High Rate (HR) Standard.— "Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance Announces Independent Test Lab and Wi-Fi Technology Brand." Business Wire, September 16, 1999Notes:Wi-Fi began life a couple of years ago saddled with a real eye-glazer of a name: the IEEE 802.11 High Rate (HR) Standard. Fortunately, at least one person with a sense of whimsy managed to sneak into the meeting and that unknown wordsmith coined the much snappier Wi-Fi as a play on the old audio term hi-fi (high fidelity), which entered the language around 1950.Related Words: Categories:
New words. 2013.