domain name system [DNS]


(n.) A distributed database and data query service used on the Internet to translate hostnames into Internet addresses, defined in RFC 1034, STD 13 and RFC 1035. Referred to as resolution, the translation enables users to keep their domain names, even though the server’s Internet Protocol (IP) address could change. DNS may be configured to use a sequence of name servers in a query, predicated on domains in the name for which it is searching, until it finds a match. DNS may be queried interactively using the command “nslookup.” The phrase refers to naming conventions for hosts, servers, and clients on the Internet.