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.
Modern hardware stores typically sell 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 a more colloquial sense, hardware can refer to military equipment, such as tanks, aircraft, ships or munitions. In the case of vehicles, such may instead be referred to as armour.
In slang, the term can also refer to trophies and other physical representations of awards.