Hardware is a general term that refers to the physical artifacts of a technology. It may also mean the physical components of a computer system, in the form of computer hardware.
Hardware historically meant the metal parts and fittings that were used to make wooden products stronger, more functional, longer lasting and easier to fabricate or assemble. In modern usage it includes equipment such as keys, locks, hinges, latches, corners, handles, wire, chains, plumbing supplies, tools, utensils, cutlery and machine parts, especially when they are made of metal. In the United States, this type of hardware has been traditionally sold in hardware stores, a term also used to a lesser extent in the UK.