firm-ware

firmware

[furm-wair]
noun Computers.
a microprogram stored in ROM, designed to implement a function that had previously been provided in software.

Origin:
1965–70; firm1 + (soft)ware

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World English Dictionary
firmware (ˈfɜːmˌwɛə)
 
n
computing a fixed form of software programmed into a read-only memory

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

firmware
1968, from firm (adj.) + ending from software.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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