• synonyms


[ 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

spyhop, spying, spymaster, spyri, spyri, johanna, spyware, spätlese, spätzle, spécialité de la maison, sq, sq.

Origin of spyware Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spyware

  • But a bit of spyware injected into the activist movement may have been sent to do the trick.

    A Double Agent App Targets Hong Kong’s Protesters|Jacob Siegel|October 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
  • They found that all the information captured by the spyware was sent to a remote server in Korea.

  • What they found was a piece of spyware siphoning data and creating audio files of voice calls.

  • At first, Stuxnet was thought to be spyware; its goal, industrial espionage.

    Cyber-Terror: The New Nukes?|Trevor Butterworth|September 27, 2010|DAILY BEAST

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