What is a Mouse?

Lawrence Bonk Profile image

Written By:

Updated November 9, 2022

If you are new to the world of computer accessories, you may wonder what is a mouse. Modern PCs, gaming consoles, and other gadgets all integrate with the best computer mouse, but what is a mouse in the first place, and what types are available for purchase? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.


  • A computer mouse is a device that translates physical actions to a computer display or a TV and has nothing to do with mouse genomes, adult mice, mouse models, female mice, and other animal-related terms.
  • A mouse cursor and mouse wheel assist with clicking on items, moving items around, scrolling, and much more.
  • Modern computer mouse devices are typically optical designs, but many still use trackballs.

What Does a Mouse Mean in Computer Terms?

Simply put, a computer mouse is a tactile control device, similar to when learning what a gaming mouse is. Wondering when the computer mouse was invented? They came about in 1963, though they were not widely adopted until the Apple Lisa computer if you are learning the definition of an ergonomic mouse.

Insider Tip

Make sure to keep your wireless mouse charged at all times so it will be ready when you need to use it.

Since then, computer mouse devices have exploded in popularity, which you know if you have conducted an Anker 2.4G wireless vertical ergonomic optical mouse review. They are so popular, as a matter of fact, that multiple mouse-related accessories have popped up if you want to learn about the best mouse feet. Nearly every computer user owns a mouse, so you can get going on that Tt eSports Level 10 BWM gaming laser mouse review.

What are They Used For?

Computer mouse accessories are used in nearly every aspect of computing. They point. They click. They hover. They scroll. As a matter of fact, modern touchscreens found on smartphones are heavily inspired by the humble computer mouse.

Computer Mouse Types

Computer mouse devices have come a long way since the 1960s. Nowadays, there are multiple types available for modern consumers.


Many new mouse devices are wireless to suit savvy consumers’ needs. These devices often use Bluetooth or related proprietary technology to make and maintain a stable connection. Wireless mouse gadgets must be charged every now and then unless they accept batteries. This type is not the preferred mouse for gamers, as wires are preferred when gaming to reduce latency.

STAT: A mouse is a small mobile manual device that controls the cursor’s movement and selection of functions on a computer display. (source)

Optical Mouse

This design uses light to allow for movement and to sync up the location with the computer screen. Nowadays, most modern mouse devices use an optical design, though this is a relatively recent occurrence.

Trackball Mouse

This standard old-school design ruled the roost before the release of optical versions. This type of mouse uses an embedded trackball to sync up movements with the computer screen. This type is considered to be somewhat finicky.

Mouse Defined FAQs

Who invented the mouse?

The mouse was initially known as the X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System and was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1963 while working at Xerox PARC.

What are the parts of a computer mouse?

There are many parts of a computer mouse, including the mouse wheel, the USB port, the mouse cursor, and more. Certain types, such as a mechanical mouse, may include unique components.

What does a laptop use for a mouse?

A laptop uses a trackpad or a related piece of technology instead of a mouse wheel, mouse cursor, or mechanical mouse. This trackpad does not need a USB port, making it extremely useful.
Lawrence Bonk Profile image