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 Trickbot malware is known to be used by several criminal groups, including at least two major Eastern European or Russian ransomware gangs. Kartikay Mehrotra,, "Microsoft Seeks to Defend U.S. Election in Botnet Takedown," 12 Oct. 2020 This method, however, could potentially expose users to security vulnerabilities and malware. Sarah E. Needleman, WSJ, "Is TikTok Being Banned? U.S. to Restrict TikTok and WeChat App Downloads," 18 Sep. 2020 The company took part of its network offline, disrupting the hackers' access to their malware, Fowler says. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "The FBI Botched Its DNC Hack Warning in 2016—but Says It Won’t Next Time," 2 Sep. 2020 Phone owners’ airtime and internet data were used up faster than usual as they were fraudulently used to pay for services funneling money back to the malware’s creators. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "A probe has found click fraud malware on Chinese-made phones from Africa’s leading seller," 27 Aug. 2020 Digital invasions can result in less obvious invasions like sniffing (kind of like bugging a phone), malware, and phishing. Johanna Read, National Geographic, "Will new travel technology invade your privacy?," 1 Oct. 2020 But now, mobile gadgets are being targeted with viruses, trojans, malware, spyware, ransomware, and adware. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "5 answers to common tech questions revealed," 1 Oct. 2020 The malware, called Sepulcher, allows attackers to read, write and delete files, among other functionalities. Natalia Drozdiak,, "Chinese Hackers Targeted European Officials in Phishing Campaign," 1 Sep. 2020 Reed also notes that he's started seeing Mac malware like adware evolve to get around notarization. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "Apple Accidentally Approved Malware to Run on MacOS," 31 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for malware

Time Traveler

The first known use of malware was in 1990

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Statistics for malware

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Malware.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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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

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