A spreadsheet is a paper or computer file that allows you to enter data in columns and rows. Microsoft Excel is the main spreadsheet program used on Windows computers although it is not the only available. Open Office and Google Documents both offer free spreadsheet applications which offer similar functions to Excel. A spreadsheet file (workbook) consist of sheets that have numbered rows and alphabetised columns which make locations that are called cells. Having rows and columns like this allows you to plot cell references eg C2 is the third column across and second row down.
You can enter data into the cells in various formats such as number, text, date etc basically creating a data table. Formulas, such as a basic sum calculation, can also be entered into the cells to calculate new values based on data in other cells and certain criteria. When the data in the cells the formula is looking at changes, the result in the cell with the formula automatically updates. Once you are experienced in using formulas you use them to manipulate multiple worksheets and workbooks with complex nested functions.