• synonyms


noun Digital Technology.
  1. software intended to damage a computer, mobile device, computer system, or computer network, or to take partial control over its operation: tips on finding and removing viruses, spyware, and other malware.
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Origin of malware

First recorded in 1990–95; mal(icious) + -ware
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Contemporary Examples

British Dictionary definitions for malware


  1. a computer program designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus
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Word Origin

C20: from mal (icious) + (soft) ware
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 malware


1997, from mal- + -ware, from software, etc.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

malware in Science


  1. Software that is written and distributed for malicious purposes, such as impairing or destroying computer systems. Computer viruses are malware.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.