Etymology
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software (n.)

1851, soft wares, "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.

updated on September 01, 2012

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Definitions of software from WordNet

software (n.)
(computer science) written programs or procedures or rules and associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system and that are stored in read/write memory;
the market for software is expected to expand
Synonyms: software program / computer software / software system / software package / package
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.