[ spahy-wair ]

  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: sophisticated spyware that rivals that of the CIA.

Origin of spyware

First recorded in 1980–85; spy + -ware

Words Nearby spyware

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use spyware in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for spyware


/ (ˈspaɪˌwɛə) /

  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

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