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spyware

[spahy-wair]
noun
  1. Computers. software that is installed surreptitiously and gathers information about an Internet user's browsing habits, intercepts the user's personal data, etc., transmitting this information to a third party: a parent's use of spyware to monitor a child's online activities.
  2. tools that are used to conduct espionage: The nation's sophisticated spyware rivals that of the CIA.
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Origin of spyware

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for spyware

spyware

noun
  1. computing software installed via the internet on a computer without the user's knowledge and used to send information about the user to another computer
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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 spyware

n.

by 2000, from spy + ending from software in the computer sense.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper