soft·​ware | \ ˈsȯft-ˌwer How to pronounce software (audio) \

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 However, to actually enable or construct a metaverse of any kind takes an extremely sophisticated hardware and software ecosystem, preferably one without wires that otherwise keep humans tethered to a system or wall outlet. Dave Altavilla, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022 In the Republican primary, James easily defeated software engineer Tony Marcinkewciz. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2022 Now common on biotech job boards are positions like cloud engineer, data scientist, automation engineer, software engineer, machine learning engineer, and computational biologist. Sajith Wickramasekara, STAT, 2 Aug. 2022 Before opting to donate or recycle used electronics, the EPA recommends considering upgrading the hardware or software of a computer instead of buying a brand new product. Catherine Thorbecke, CNN, 31 July 2022 Tech jobs, broadly speaking, encompass both computer hardware and software. oregonlive, 20 July 2022 The company is known for its ubiquitous hardware and software products, from the Xbox gaming console to its popular suite of office applications and the now-defunct Internet Explorer browser. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 14 July 2022 For all the tight integration between Apple's various hardware and software platforms, there are still a few places where one platform doesn't offer a feature that other platforms support. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 11 July 2022 The goal is strengthening Sony’s supply chain resilience, while increasing the consumer appeal of PlayStation hardware and software. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 June 2022 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.

First Known Use of software

1958, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for software

Time Traveler

The first known use of software was in 1958

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Dictionary Entries Near software

soft turtle


software engineering

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Statistics for software

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Software.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for software


soft·​ware | \ ˈsȯft-ˌwer How to pronounce software (audio) \

Kids Definition of software

: the programs and related information used by a computer

More from Merriam-Webster on software

Nglish: Translation of software for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of software for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about software


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