<operating system> When a multitasking operating system stops running one process and starts running another. Many operating systems implement concurrency by maintaining separate environments or "contexts" for each process. The amount of separation between processes, and the amount of information in a context, depends on the operating system but generally the OS should prevent processes interfering with each other, e.g. by modifying each other's memory.
In order to present the user with an impression of parallism, and to allow processes to respond quickly to external events, many systems will context switch tens or hundreds of times per second.
Nearby terms: COntext Dependent Information Language « context-free grammar « context-sensitive menu « context switch » Contextually Communicating Sequential Processes » continental drift » continuation