Application Specific Integrated Circuit
Hardware optimized to solve a specific algorithm for the purposes of mining cryptocurrency.
ASICs can output significantly more hash power than consumer hardware, giving them a massive advantage. ASICs are so much more powerful than consumer hardware, that they are often the only profitable method off mining.
ASICs are mostly used when mining cryptocurrencies with consistent algorithms, but they can be designed and optimized for any set of algorithms.
Some crypto assets attempt to be ASIC resistant by changing their algorithms in random patterns; but the effectiveness of this is yet to be proven. With enough time everything can be optimized. Probably.
* All terms and definitions may update as the Cryptionary improves.