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

Each stop highlights a town’s history and heritage from an 1876 hardware store in Blue Island to a 1950s roller rink in Markham. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Southland family honors dad's memory by driving his ashes down Dixie Highway in convoy of Plymouth Prowlers," 12 July 2018 All the partners put in the sweat equity that turned a former hardware store into a brewery. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Vennture Brew Co. brings coffee and beer to Washington Heights neighborhood," 11 July 2018 However, our sacrificial toilet from the hardware store fared excellently when coated with the stuff. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Internet-demanded, partially scientific testing of Ultra-Ever Dry (in HD!)," 4 July 2018 Fill your chimney not with charcoal, but hardwood chunks (oak, hickory, apple, cherry and such, the sort sold at hardware stores for smoking). Steven Raichlen, New York Times, "Grilling Turns Back to an Ancient Fuel: Wood," 29 June 2018 Technology hardware companies were some of the top gainers among the region’s large stocks, with Korean chip maker SK Hynix Inc. rising 3.7% and Taiwan’s Largan Precision Co. up 2.2%. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Xiaomi Defies Skeptics to Rally in Opening Week," 13 July 2018 The bond also provided other safety enhancements to campuses, including the installation of additional security cameras, perimeter keyless entries, classroom intruder function door hardware, and additional parking lot lighting. Rick Mauch, star-telegram, "Weatherford School Board approves concealed carry for personnel," 14 June 2018 As interest in gaming PCs continues to grow, hardware companies that used to focus on specific niches have been expanding to include more varied lineups in a bid to get more business from DIYers seeking a cohesive look inside their rigs. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Gigabyte gets into RAM with Aorus RGB Memory," 4 June 2018 For this trial, Capital Metro, the city’s transit system, is collaborating with Connecthings, which built the network, as well as BlueCats, a hardware company that builds mobile beacons. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "New transit tech in Austin wants to give blind riders a better bus ride," 1 May 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

17 Sep 2018

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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