hardware

[hahrd-wair]
noun
1.
metalware, as tools, locks, hinges, or cutlery.
2.
the mechanical equipment necessary for conducting an activity, usually distinguished from the theory and design that make the activity possible.
3.
military weapons and combat equipment.
4.
Slang. a weapon carried on one's person: The rougher types were asked to check their hardware at the door.
5.
Computers. the mechanical, magnetic, electronic, and electrical devices comprising a computer system, as the CPU, disk drives, keyboard, or screen.
Compare software.


Origin:
1505–15; 1955–60 for def 5; hard + ware1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
hardware (ˈhɑːdˌwɛə)
 
n
1.  metal tools, implements, etc, esp cutlery or cooking utensils
2.  computing Compare software the physical equipment used in a computer system, such as the central processing unit, peripheral devices, and memory
3.  mechanical equipment, components, etc
4.  heavy military equipment, such as tanks and missiles or their parts
5.  informal a gun or guns collectively

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

hardware
1515, from hard + ware (n.). In the sense of "physical components of a computer" it dates from 1947.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
hardware   (härd'wâr')  Pronunciation Key 
A computer, its components, and its related equipment. Hardware includes disk drives, integrated circuits, display screens, cables, modems, speakers, and printers. Compare software.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

hardware definition


The physical machinery and devices that make up a computer system. It is contrasted to software — the programs and instructions used to run the system.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

hardware definition

hardware
The physical, touchable, material parts of a computer or other system. The term is used to distinguish these fixed parts of a system from the more changable software or data components which it executes, stores, or carries.
Computer hardware typically consists chiefly of electronic devices (CPU, memory, display) with some electromechanical parts (keyboard, printer, disk drives, tape drives, loudspeakers) for input, output, and storage, though completely non-electronic (mechanical, electromechanical, hydraulic, biological) computers have also been conceived of and built.
See also firmware, wetware.
(1997-01-23)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
The concept of open source hardware has interested me for some time.
Nilsson loves exploring old neighborhood hardware stores.
The design of that hardware is terrible.
Pictures can be worth more than a thousand words when the subject is something
  as arcane as computer hardware.
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