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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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 Where does the mind-ware stop and the wetware start? Quanta Magazine, 30 Sep. 2021 But the rules themselves - the brain’s algorithms - are independent of the wetware. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 27 May 2021 All of it contained within 3 pounds of ‘wetware’ inside your skull. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 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, 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, 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, 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, 30 Jan. 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of wetware

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wetware

wet + software

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The first known use of wetware was in 1975

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Cite this Entry

“Wetware.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wetware. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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