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computer virus

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noun
  1. virus(def 4).
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Origin of computer virus

First recorded in 1985–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

computer virus in Culture

computer virus

A program that enters a computer usually without the knowledge of the operator. Some viruses are mild and only cause messages to appear on the screen, but others are destructive and can wipe out the computer's memory or cause more severe damage.

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Note

Computer viruses spread from machine to machine on disks or, more commonly, over the Internet.

Note

The creation of computer viruses can be part of cyberwarfare.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.