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 malware hit TNT Express, a delivery and logistics company in Ukraine that FedEx had bought in 2016. Adam Janofsky, WSJ, "One Year After NotPetya Cyberattack, Firms Wrestle With Recovery Costs," 27 June 2018 The malware infects routers during the first stage of an attack that eventually gives hackers great control over the devices connected to the Internet. The Washington Post,, "Got WiFi? The FBI would like you to reboot your router," 30 May 2018 Turning the router on and off temporarily disrupts the malware and erases parts of it, though the router can be reinfected. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "The FBI wants you to do this to your home router, now," 29 May 2018 The malware generally encrypts data until the victims pay a ransom. Leada Gore,, "Boeing hit by cyberattack," 29 Mar. 2018 After searching the suspects vehicle, police seized $5,600 and electronic devices intended to plant malware on ATMs. Ruth Bruno,, "Springfield Man Pleads Guilty To Stealing From ATMs Across Connecticut," 18 June 2018 Researchers from Cisco’s Talos security team first disclosed the existence of the malware on Wednesday. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "FBI tells router users to reboot now to kill malware infecting 500k devices," 25 May 2018 The malware that shut down the system last Thursday has been traced to a vulnerable server, with hackers demanding 6 Bitcoin - or about $51,000 - to release the system. Leada Gore,, "Atlanta's computer system still down from malware attack; no word on ransom payment," 26 Mar. 2018 The emails included a document infected with malware. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Russians attempted to break into Wisconsin voter registration system, but state not mentioned in indictment," 13 July 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)

mal- bad + software

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Learn More about malware

Dictionary Entries near malware



mal vu





Statistics for malware

Last Updated

20 Oct 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)

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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