1 of 3


: unsolicited usually commercial messages (such as emails, text messages, or Internet postings) sent to a large number of recipients or posted in a large number of places


2 of 3


spammed; spamming

transitive verb

: to send or post spam to
spammed customers with discount offers
spamming a message board

intransitive verb

: to send or post spam
The company was accused of spamming via text messages.
spammer noun


3 of 3


used for a canned meat product

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Hard sells have long been a favorite of the budding entrepreneur—spam calls are a tactic used by the likes of Tesla’s Elon Musk and Apple’s Steve Jobs. Eleanor Pringle, Fortune, 15 May 2023 As with other LinkedIn features, Rajiv noted, users can report claims that are obviously fraudulent or spam. Gabriela Riccardi, Quartz, 19 Apr. 2023 It was seen as a mark of authenticity on a platform known for bots and spam accounts. David Klepper, The Enquirer, 20 Mar. 2023 There is also around 6 times as much spam sent each day than genuine email, with email as a whole only around 1% of all internet traffic. Adi Gaskell, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2023 Worldwide, Hiya flagged 6.7 billion spam calls for Q1 2023. Eric Griffith, PCMAG, 2 May 2023 The icon took to Instagram to air her grievances about the ever-escalating spam on the app and insists that the Meta-run platform do something to counteract it. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, 25 Apr. 2023 By following up on an email from someone the target has communicated with in the past, the malicious spam message stands a better chance of going undetected. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 13 Mar. 2023 These realtors might hire companies that distribute spam texts. Talis Shelbourne, Journal Sentinel, 2 Mar. 2023
Is the reason my email inbox says 1967 unread emails (most of them spam, but probably some important ones hidden in there) because of ADHD or autism? Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2023 In early August, LGBTQ+ Twitch streamers began sharing clips of a growing and frightening phenomenon: hate raids, in which mass bot accounts would spam offensive speech and threats to active streamers in their chats. Samantha Puc,, 7 Dec. 2021 Don’t spam your engine with random words. Celeste Polanco, Essence, 19 Aug. 2021 Fans of Vanderpump Rules flock to the internet to spam Schwartz & Sandy’s — the bro-ish, strip-mall-bar concept conceived by Sandoval and his wingman — with bad Yelp reviews. Hannah Selinger, Vulture, 8 Mar. 2023 People can also direct-message you and spam your inbox. Linda Chong, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Mar. 2023 Some text messaging websites use your reply to verify that your number is active — then resell it to other data brokers who will spam you more. Talis Shelbourne, Journal Sentinel, 2 Mar. 2023 Gmail app aided Democratic candidates by sending GOP fundraising emails to spam at a far higher rate than Democratic solicitations. John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, 17 Jan. 2023 Justin Watkins, a popular YouTuber, tweeted in frustration about this back in September, begging Google to fine-tune its filters and send the Yeti Hopper emails to spam after receiving the emails for several consecutive months. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 23 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History



from a skit on the British television series Monty Python's Flying Circus in which chanting of the word Spam overrides the other dialogue

First Known Use


1990, in the meaning defined above


1994, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of spam was in 1990

Dictionary Entries Near spam

Cite this Entry

“Spam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: unsolicited usually commercial e-mail sent to a large number of addresses


2 of 2 verb
: to send spam to
spammer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on spam

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!