software
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: [ˈsɒftˌwɛə]
  • (GA, Canada) IPA: [ˈsɔftˌwɛɹ]
Noun

software (uncountable)

  1. (computing) Encoded computer instructions, usually modifiable (unless stored in some form of unalterable memory such as ROM).
    • 1958, John W. Tukey, "The Teaching of Concrete Mathematics" in The American Mathematical Monthly, vol. 65, no. 1 (Jan. 1958), pp 1-9:
      The "software" comprising the carefully planned interpretive routines, compilers, and other aspects of automative programming are at least as important to the modern electronic calculator as its "hardware" of tubes, transistors, wires, tapes and the like.
    hypo en
  2. (military) The human beings involved in warfare, as opposed to hardware such as weapons and vehicles.
    • 1991, New York Magazine (volume 24, number 5, page 33)
      […] preview of horrific images to come, as the hardware stage of the war yields to the software — or human — stage.
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