1. (file format) A single file containing one or (usually) more separate files plus information to allow them to be extracted (separated) by a suitable program.Archives are usually created for software distribution or backup. tar is a common format for Unix archives, and arc or PKZIP for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. 2. (operating system) To transfer files to slower, cheaper media (usually magnetic tape) to free the hard disk space they occupied. This is now normally done for long-term storage but in the 1960s, when disk was much more expensive, files were often shuffled regularly between disk and tape. 3. (networking) archive site.
Last updated: 1996-12-08