soft·​ware ˈsȯft-ˌwer How to pronounce software (audio)
: something used or associated with and usually contrasted with hardware: such as
: programs for a computer
accounting software
dated : the entire set of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with a mechanical or electronic system and especially a computer system
: materials for use with audiovisual equipment
… television programs, music, and movies are now called software, by the way …Robert Bixby

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Invest in tools such as project management software and online calendars. Benjamin Laker, Forbes, 23 Jan. 2023 College graduates in software and mechanical engineering are also needed. Lee Roop |, al, 23 Jan. 2023 Nowadays, Lill uses digital software and a simple audio interface. Parker Hall, WIRED, 22 Jan. 2023 The tech industry benefitted during the pandemic from a surge in demand for computers, phones, software and goods ordered online, leading to a frenetic pace of hiring. Spencer Soper, Fortune, 17 Jan. 2023 In addition to the sophisticated route-planner, Mercedes EVs come with software and an RFID tag that speeds up the process to start charging, which — frustratingly — differs from one charging network to another. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 15 Jan. 2023 The coalition, which includes such schools as Stanford and UCLA, hinges on making advances in software and next-generation computer chips. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Jan. 2023 The agreement ensures farmers timely access to the tools, software and documentation originating from the manufacturer. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 9 Jan. 2023 The agreement addresses a debate that has grown in recent years, as the farm industry has implemented high-tech equipment like software and sensors in machinery like tractors and harvesters aimed at boosting harvests and speeding planting. Patience Haggin, WSJ, 9 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1958, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of software was in 1958

Dictionary Entries Near software

Cite this Entry

“Software.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


soft·​ware ˈsȯf-ˌtwa(ə)r How to pronounce software (audio)
: the programs and related information used by a computer

More from Merriam-Webster on software

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