mal·​ware | \ ˈmal-ˌwer How to pronounce malware (audio) \

Definition of malware

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

Examples of malware in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Evidence linking Monokle to the contractor includes control servers the malware connects to and cryptographic certificates that sign the samples. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Advanced mobile surveillanceware, made in Russia, found in the wild," 24 July 2019 After installation, the hackers would ‘activate’ the malware. Cat Ferguson, The Mercury News, "Malicious apps infect 25 million Android devices with “Agent Smith” malware," 10 July 2019 Because the bucket’s permissions let anyone write code to it, the attackers simply tack their Magecart malware onto the file, then overwrite the script that had been there. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Hack Brief: A Card-Skimming Hacker Group Hit 17K Domains—and Counting," 11 July 2019 Investigators believe the attack began when someone in the police department clicked an email link on May 29 that allowed the hackers to upload malware, The Palm Beach Post reported. Fox News, "Florida city to pay $600G in ransom to hackers in effort to save records," 20 June 2019 Scanning your computer for malware viruses is important to keep it running smoothly. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Samsung’s security reminder makes the case for not owning a Samsung smart TV," 17 June 2019 Target has been vexed by technology before, most notably in 2013 when malware installed in its checkout system resulted in a data heist that exposed personal information in more than 40 million credit and debit card accounts. Washington Post, "Target’s tech trouble clogs stores with long checkout lines," 15 June 2019 The fact that many popular Windows file-sharing apps were ridden with bugs and malware didn’t hurt. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "A Farewell for iTunes," 3 June 2019 No other celebrity was more likely to land users on websites that carry viruses or malware. Mark Kennedy, The Seattle Times, "The most dangerous celebrity online is revealed," 1 Oct. 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

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce malware (audio) \

Legal Definition of malware

: software that is designed to interfere with a computer's 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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a period when something is suspended

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