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Android ROM(Android Read Only Memory) A file containing the executable instructions (a system image) of an Android OS and affiliated apps. The "stock ROM" comes installed on the phone or tablet, while a "custom ROM" comes from a third party. The custom ROM is either a uniquely modified OS, such as Cyanogen, or a stock version made available for older devices or for new devices before the vendor release date. See CyanogenMod.
Flashing the ROM
Flashing a ROM means installing the system image into the device's internal flash memory. Flash memory holds the Android's firmware, the same as most portable devices with an embedded OS.
A Rather Misleading Name
The Android ROM is actually flash memory, not ROM. A ROM is read-only-memory that once programmed is unalterable. See ROM, flash memory, Android recovery image and Android rooting.