[ spahy-wair ]
/ ˈspaɪˌwɛər /


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.
tools that are used to conduct espionage: The nation's sophisticated spyware rivals that of the CIA.

Nearby words

  1. spyhop,
  2. spying,
  3. spymaster,
  4. spyri,
  5. spyri, johanna,
  6. spätlese,
  7. spätzle,
  8. spécialité de la maison,
  9. sq,
  10. sq.

Origin of spyware

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spyware

British Dictionary definitions for spyware


/ (ˈspaɪˌwɛə) /


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

Word Origin and History for spyware



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper