share·​ware ˈsher-ˌwer How to pronounce shareware (audio)
: software with usually limited capability or incomplete documentation which is available for trial use at little or no cost but which can be upgraded upon payment of a fee to the author

Examples of shareware in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the computer comes to life, a monitor sitting on top of the rack displays a MS-DOS-style text crawl that shows the computer extracting .CEC files from a self-extracting file called EGREEN23.EXE that was compressed using the v2.50 shareware version of PKSFX by PKWARE, copyright 1999. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 11 Jan. 2023 Pages of free-to-download shareware games scrolled by. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 1 Dec. 2022 The company was built on a shareware model, encouraging users to download antiviral software for free and pay later. Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times, 23 June 2021 Since then there have been eight additional installments, as the games have spread from shareware and computers to the Game Boy Advance, the original Xbox and all the current consoles. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, 25 July 2019 Her event scores and instructional pieces act like shareware, software provided initially free for users to try, or like apps performing various artistic functions, decades before those terms were coined. Lucy Harvey, Smithsonian, 16 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shareware.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of shareware was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near shareware

Cite this Entry

“Shareware.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


share·​ware -ˌwa(ə)r How to pronounce shareware (audio)
: software with usually only basic capability which is available for trial use at little or no cost but which can be upgraded for a fee

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