wet·​ware | \ ˈwet-ˌwer How to pronounce wetware (audio) \

Definition of wetware

: the human brain or a human being considered especially with respect to human logical and computational capabilities

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Did You Know?

When the computer terms "software" and "hardware" sprang to life in the mid-20th century, a surge of visions and inventions using the new technology immediately followed . . . along with a revival of the combining form "ware." An early coinage was "wetware," which began circuiting techie circles in the 1970s as a name for the software installed by Mother Nature (a.k.a. the brain). Other "ware" names for people and their noggins have made a blip in our language - for example, "meatware" and "liveware" - but none have become firmly established in the general lexicon like "wetware."

Examples of wetware in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All of it contained within 3 pounds of ‘wetware’ inside your skull. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, "What The Human Brain And Ants Have In Common," 19 Apr. 2021 Our cells have a remarkable kind of software—wetware—that uses the instructions in the DNA in our cells’ nuclei to produce proteins. Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic, "3 Ways the Pandemic Has Made the World Better," 18 Mar. 2021 So wrap your wetware around this number: 5724—as in pounds, as in curb weight for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Dan Neil, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2003 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Takes Fast SUVs to New Heights," 2 June 2020 First came the hardware, then the software; now even the wetware of life can be created in people’s homes. D.I.Y. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "The Rogue Experimenters," 18 May 2020 After several years of slow progress, Oxford Nanopore announced that its sequencing hardware would be as distinctive as its wetware: a USB device that could fit comfortably in a person's hand. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Pocket-sized DNA reader used to scan entire human genome sequence," 30 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wetware.' 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 wetware

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wetware

wet + software

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Time Traveler for wetware

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The first known use of wetware was in 1975

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wetware.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wetware. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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