noun Computers.
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.

mal(icious) + -ware Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
malware (ˈmælwɛə)
a computer program designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus
[C20: from mal(icious) + (soft)ware]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  malware
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  software, such as viruses, intended to damage or disable a computer system; short for malicious software; also written mal-ware
Etymology:  1998-2003's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin & History

1997, from mal- + -ware, from software, etc.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
malware   (māl'wâr')  Pronunciation Key 
Software that is written and distributed for malicious purposes, such as impairing or destroying computer systems. Computer viruses are malware.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

malware definition

Any software designed to do something that the user would not wish it to do, hasn't asked it to do, and often has no knowledge of until it's too late. Types of malware include backdoor, virus, worm, Trojan horse.
Malware typically affects the system on which it is run, e.g. by deleting or corrupting files on the local disks. Since Internet connections became common, malware has increasingly targets remote systems. An early example was malware consisting of a malicious e-mail attachment that targeted security flaws in Microsoft Outlook (the most common e-mail client) to send itself to all the user's contacts. A more recent kind of malware "recruits" the infected computer to become part of a botnet consisting of thousands of infected computers that can then be remotely controlled and used to launch DDoS attacks.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
Malware doesn't need to be in the individual lines of code.
When the target smartphone scanned the tag, the browser was directed to the
  spoofed site and fed malware.
Maybe malware is using lots of bandwidth, without the customer knowing anything
  about it.
And when you emailed back home, some or all of the malware may have migrated to
  your home server.
Related Words
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