soft ware

software

[sawft-wair, soft-]
noun
1.
Computers. the programs used to direct the operation of a computer, as well as documentation giving instructions on how to use them. Compare hardware ( def 5 ).
2.
anything that is not hardware but is used with hardware, especially audiovisual materials, as film, tapes, records, etc.: a studio fully equipped but lacking software.
3.
Television Slang. prepackaged materials, as movies or reruns, used to fill out the major part of a station's program schedule.

Origin:
1955–60; soft + ware1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
software (ˈsɒftˌwɛə)
 
n
1.  computing Compare hardware the programs that can be used with a particular computer system
2.  video cassettes and discs for use with a particular video system

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

software
1851, "woolen or cotton fabrics," also, "relatively perishable consumer goods," from soft + ware (n.). The computer sense is a separate coinage from 1960, based on hardware.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
software   (sôft'wâr')  Pronunciation Key 
The programs, programming languages, and data that direct the operations of a computer system. word processing programs and Internet browsers are examples of software. Compare hardware.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

software definition


The programs and instructions that run a computer, as opposed to the actual physical machinery and devices that compose the hardware.

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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