hard·​ware | \ˈhärd-ˌwer \

Definition of hardware 

1 : ware (such as fittings, cutlery, tools, utensils, or parts of machines) made of metal

2 : major items of equipment or their components used for a particular purpose educational hardware : such as

a : military equipment

b : the physical components (such as electronic and electrical devices) of a vehicle (such as a spacecraft) or an apparatus (such as a computer)

3 : an award (such as a trophy, medal, or cup) given in a sports competition

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Examples of hardware in a Sentence

She bought some new hardware for her system. gathered together the hardware needed to set up a first aid station at the finish line for the marathon

Recent Examples on the Web

Google has ceased offering YouTube on some Amazon devices in the wake of a dispute that is centered in part around the fact that Amazon will not sell some Amazon-competitive Google hardware products in its online retail store. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Sonos files for IPO, positions its products as alternatives to screen addiction," 6 July 2018 Several solutions to this problem have been introduced by reputable crypto companies in recent months, including hardware products that help institutions secure their own cryptocurrencies and a storage service where a third party does it for them. Omid Malekan, New York Times, "If Fund Managers Back Bitcoin," 27 June 2018 Incompatibilities among computer systems constantly frustrated users, who longed to use software, hardware, and peripherals from one machine on another. Benj Edwards, PCWorld, "Birth of a standard: The Intel 8086 microprocessor turns 40 today," 8 June 2018 The company's hardware products include the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, and the HomePod smart speaker. Abigail Jones, Newsweek, "Apple Inc," 14 Mar. 2018 Apple’s cost for each $349 HomePod is $216, resulting in thinner profit margins than typical Apple hardware products, according to TechInsights. Mark Gurman And Debby Wu, Houston Chronicle, "Apple to turn up audio ambition with high-end headphones," 5 Mar. 2018 Streaming music provider Spotify appears to be working on a hardware product. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Spotify Could Be Working on an Apple HomePod Killer," 20 Feb. 2018 The Fullers built the two-story building 18 years ago for a hardware and houseware store. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Blackberry Market proposal in Hinsdale not moving forward," 2 July 2018 Only perhaps a dozen companies make over $1bn of profits a year from China, including General Motors and a few tech-hardware stars. The Economist, "America Inc and the rage against Beijing," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hardware.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hardware

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for hardware

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hardware

The first known use of hardware was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for hardware



English Language Learners Definition of hardware

: things (such as tools or parts of machines) that are made of metal

: equipment used for a particular purpose; especially : computer equipment


hard·​ware | \ˈhärd-ˌwer \

Kids Definition of hardware

1 : things (as tools, cutlery, or parts of machines) made of metal

2 : equipment or parts used for a particular purpose The computer system needs hardware such as monitors and keyboards.

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Comments on hardware

What made you want to look up hardware? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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