Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. A protocol for dynamically assigning IP addresses from a pre-defined list to nodes on a network. When they log on, network nodes automatically receive an IP address from a pool of addresses served by a DHCP. The DHCP server provides (or leases) an IP address (to a client for a specific period of time. The client will automatically request a renewal of the lease when the lease is about to run out. If a lease renewal is not requested and it expires, the address is returned to the pool of available IP addresses. Using DHCP to manage IP addresses simplifies client configuration and efficiently utilizes IP addresses. (See IP address).