mal·​ware | \ˈmal-ˌwer \

Definition of malware 

: software designed to interfere with a computer's normal functioning

Examples of malware in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The report led to Google removing many of the apps from the Play store, and just last week, the company pulled 13 apps containing malware that were downloaded half a million times. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Google Play-promoted Android apps are using scammy ad practices, report says," 26 Nov. 2018 More than 400 million emails pass through the company’s malware filters each day. Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Seattle Times, "Microsoft CEO Nadella welcomes scrutiny that has roiled tech industry. Easy for him to say," 9 Oct. 2018 Domains used by the malware were the same used in 2017 for another backdoor known as SedUploader. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "First UEFI malware discovered in wild is laptop security software hijacked by Russians," 2 Oct. 2018 That revelation is detailed in a new report from Human Rights Watch, along with a 2015 email that shows that the DEA had expressed interest in using smartphone malware from Italian company Hacking Team to spy on multiple suspects’ locations. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "How the US Government Secretly Sold 'Spy Phones' to Suspects," 13 July 2018 The previous bug was later used by malicious parties in their malware. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Another Windows 0-day flaw has been published on Twitter," 24 Oct. 2018 Per last week's article, the company is alleged to have had its motherboards infiltrated by Chinese malware during the manufacturing process before their export to U.S. markets. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "New Report Claims More Evidence of Chinese Microchip Tampering," 9 Oct. 2018 So will any one of the hundreds of thousands of users in 54 countries across the globe potentially affected by the malware. Derek Hawkins, Washington Post, "The Cybersecurity 202: Only YOU can prevent a VPN Filter malware attack. That's a problem for the FBI.," 31 May 2018 This time around, its VPNFilter malware has already taken hold of hundreds of thousands of home and office routers globally. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "FBI urges internet users to reboot their routers to stop Russia-linked malware," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malware.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of malware

1990, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for malware

malicious + -ware (as in software)

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Dictionary Entries near malware



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Statistics for malware

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for malware

The first known use of malware was in 1990

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More Definitions for malware


mal·​ware | \ˈmal-ˌwer \

Legal Definition of malware 

: software that is designed to interfere with a computerʼs normal functioning and that can be used to commit cybercrime (as by revealing passwords, PINs, and other sensitive data)

History and Etymology for malware

mal- bad + software

More from Merriam-Webster on malware

Nglish: Translation of malware for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of malware for Arabic Speakers

Comments on malware

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living or existing for a long time

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