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phish

[fish]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to try to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, usually a financial institution, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make (someone) a victim in this way: If you've been phished, you should cancel your credit cards immediately.
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Sometimes brand spoof.
Compare vish.

Origin of phish

1995–2000; respelling (influenced by phreak) of fish
Related formsphish·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for phishing

phishing

noun
  1. the practice of using fraudulent e-mails and copies of legitimate websites to extract financial data from computer users for purposes of identity theft
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Word Origin

C21: from fishing in the sense of catching the unwary by offering bait; computer-hacker slang often replaces f with ph
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for phishing

n.

in the cyber scam sense, by 2000 (some sources cite usage from 1995); alteration of fishing (n.); perhaps by influence of phreak and the U.S. rock band Phish, which had been performing since 1983.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper