mal·​ware ˈmal-ˌwer How to pronounce malware (audio)
: software designed to interfere with a computer's normal functioning

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Most were click-and-go crimes, involving the minimum interaction to procure identity information or install malware. Arianne Cohen,, 14 Feb. 2023 The suit was filed in 2019 by the WhatsApp messaging system and its parent company, Facebook, which said governments had used WhatsApp to install NSO malware on about 1,400 mobile units in different nations. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 9 Jan. 2023 But the posts and messages usually contain links to spoofed websites that install malware on your computer or mobile device. Kim Key, PCMAG, 12 Aug. 2022 The iOS and macOS attacks had different approaches, but both chained multiple vulnerabilities together so attackers could take control of victim devices to install their malware. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 11 Nov. 2021 While little is known about how the hacking took place or the type of malware used, 32,477 of EncroChat’s 66,134 users were impacted in 122 countries, according to court documents. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 4 Jan. 2023 For the most part, users can download and install apps without having to deal with the type of malware that more commonly impacts the Google Play store. Yoni Heisler, BGR, 16 Dec. 2022 The blog post provides images, file names, and other indicators that trained people can use to determine if they have been targeted or infected by this malware. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2022 For example, micro-segmentation of east-west traffic between cloud resources can help prevent malicious lateral movements by malware. Tim Liu, Forbes, 12 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History


malicious + -ware (as in software)

First Known Use

1990, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of malware was in 1990

Dictionary Entries Near malware

Cite this Entry

“Malware.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Legal Definition


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

mal- bad + software

More from Merriam-Webster on malware

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