soft·ware | \ˈsȯft-ˌwer \

Definition of software 

: something used or associated with and usually contrasted with hardware: such as

a : programs for a computer accounting software

b dated : the entire set of programs, procedures, and related documentation associated with a mechanical or electronic system and especially a computer system

c : materials for use with audiovisual equipment … television programs, music, and movies are now called software, by the way …— Robert Bixby

Examples of software in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Amazon and Microsoft Amazon employees wrote a letter protesting the company’s sale of facial-recognition technology to law enforcement agencies, noting the software can make errors and infringe on privacy and due process rights. Joseph Menn, The Christian Science Monitor, "Silicon Valley employees increasingly push companies on ethics," 13 July 2018 In addition to using facial recognition for its own consumer services, Microsoft — like Amazon — also sells the software to others. New York Times, "Microsoft Urges Congress to Regulate Use of Facial Recognition," 13 July 2018 But markets still needed software to process the federal benefits. Jane Black And Leah Douglas,, "Some food stamp recipients may soon lose access to farmers market benefits," 12 July 2018 Washington's charity, The Sixth Man Foundation, while operating as Project Contact Africa, used eBay and a PayPal account to facilitate more than $12 million in payments for items that included counterfeit software. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "Former NBA player sentenced in Kansas City to federal prison for fraud, identity theft," 9 July 2018 Sonos is bringing AirPlay 2 support to its modern speakers today through a new software update. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Sonos launches AirPlay 2 support for latest speakers," 11 July 2018 Big software-development projects were (and are) notorious for producing costly, late and cumbersome results. The Economist, "The fashion for agile management is spreading," 5 July 2018 The company will expand a number of functions at its Utah office, including software development, product development and customer support, Praeger added. Katherine Peralta, charlotteobserver, "A big Charlotte company opened a new HQ in Utah. But local workers shouldn't worry.," 27 June 2018 The new feature will be packaged as part of iOS 12, an iPhone software update due later this year. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Your iPhone Will Soon Send Your Exact Location to First Responders When You Call 911," 18 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of software

1958, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for software

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for software

The first known use of software was in 1958

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More Definitions for software



English Language Learners Definition of software

: the programs that run on a computer and perform certain functions


soft·ware | \ˈsȯft-ˌwer \

Kids Definition of software

: the programs and related information used by a computer

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