or hard·wired

[hahrd-wahyuh rd]
  1. Computers.
    1. built into a computer's hardware and thus not readily changed.
    2. (of a terminal) connected to a computer by a direct circuit rather than through a switching network.
  2. (of electrical or electronic components) connected by hardwiring.
  3. pertaining to or being an intrinsic and relatively unmodifiable behavior pattern: Every cricket has a hard-wired pattern of chirps.

Origin of hard-wired

First recorded in 1970–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hardwired

Contemporary Examples of hardwired

British Dictionary definitions for hardwired


  1. (of a circuit or instruction) permanently wired into a computer, replacing separate software
  2. (of human behaviour) innate; not learnedhumans have a hard-wired ability for acquiring language
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hardwired



also hardwired, 1969, in computing; transferred to human brains from 1971; from hard + wired.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hardwired in Culture


In computer jargon, a circuit is hardwired if it is built to perform a specific function and requires no outside instructions or program.


“Hardwired” is often used loosely to refer to functions that are innate and unlearned in living systems: “The ability to perceive objects in a certain way appears to be hardwired into the brains of mammals.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.