Read-Only Memory (ROM) is a type of storage medium that permanently stores data on personal computers (PCs) and other electronic devices. It contains the programming needed to start a PC, which is essential for boot-up; it performs major input/output tasks and holds programs or software instructions.
Because ROM is read-only, it cannot be changed; it is permanent and non-volatile, meaning it also holds its memory even when power is removed. By contrast, Random Access Memory (RAM) is volatile; it is lost when power is removed.
Source: Read-Only Memory (ROM)