DOS (/dɒs/), short for "Disk Operating System", is an acronym for several closely related operating systems that dominated the IBM PC compatible market between 1981 and 1995, or until about 2000 if one includes the partially DOS-based Microsoft Windows versions 95, 98, and Millennium Edition.
Related systems include MS-DOS, PC-DOS, DR-DOS, FreeDOS, PTS-DOS, ROM-DOS, Novell DOS, OpenDOS, 86-DOS and several others.
In spite of the common usage, none of these systems were simply named "DOS" (a name given only to an unrelated IBM mainframe operating system in the 1960s). A number of unrelated, non-x86 microcomputer disk operating systems had "DOS" in their name, and are often referred to simply as "DOS" when discussing machines that use them (e.g. AmigaDOS, AMSDOS, ANDOS, Apple DOS, Atari DOS, Commodore DOS, CSI-DOS, ProDOS, and TRS-DOS). While providing many of the same operating system functions for their respective computer systems, programs running under any one of these operating systems would not run under others.
IBM PC-DOS (and the separately sold MS-DOS) and its predecessor, 86-DOS, were loosely inspired by Digital Research's CP/M, which was the dominant disk operating system