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[mal-wair] /ˈmælˌwɛər/
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.
Origin of malware Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for malware
  • 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.
  • Most mobile malware, however, keep their intentions hidden.
  • Flash or thumb drives provide an easy way to infect machines with malware.
  • When you download the app, the malware gets to work corrupting your system and stealing your data.
  • Both applications will provide a basic level of security against a variety of so-called malware.
  • malware can take over your computer and use your bandwidth.
  • New software aims to expose mobile malware by monitoring a device's memory usage.
British Dictionary definitions for malware


a computer program designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus
Word Origin
C20: from mal(icious) + (soft)ware
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
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Contemporary definitions for malware

software, such as viruses, intended to damage or disable a computer system; short for malicious software; also written mal-ware

Word Origin

1998-2003's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin and History for malware

1997, from mal- + -ware, from software, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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malware in Science
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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malware in Technology
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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