avatar n. Syn.
[in Hindu mythology, the incarnation of
a god] 1. Among people working on virtual reality and
cyberspace interfaces, an avatar is an icon or
representation of a user in a shared virtual reality. The term is
sometimes used on MUDs. 2. [CMU, Tektronix] root,
superuser. There are quite a few Unix machines on which the
name of the superuser account is `avatar' rather than `root'.
This quirk was originated by a CMU hacker who found the terms
`root' and `superuser' unimaginative, and thought `avatar'
might better impress people with the responsibility they were
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