Share this entry

Share this page

spam

Line breaks: spam
Pronunciation: /spam
 
/

Definition of spam in English:

noun

[mass noun]
1Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.
Example sentences
  • If you're a consumer and you get spam from a "legitimate" company, call them up and let them know how angry you are.
  • E-mail and newsgroup spam are annoying, but at least they file neatly into your e-mail or newsgroup reader.
  • There are other irritating blights of the Internet age, like spam.
1.1Unwanted or intrusive advertising on the Internet: [as modifier]: an autogenerated spam website
More example sentences
  • Lycos is offering a screensaver which, once downloaded, would launch a Distributed Denial of Service attack against spam websites.
  • The screensavers make constant http requests to spam websites.
  • Most fly-by-night spam websites are registered for only a single year.
2 (Spam) trademark A tinned meat product made mainly from ham.
Example sentences
  • Sammy Leslie and Ultan Bannon know that wine lovers want good wines first and good trimmings after, so there are no stray tins of spam here.
  • A guy in California used a wireless laptop to send thousands of spam messages.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Send the same message indiscriminately to (a large numbers of Internet users).
Example sentences
  • Experts at Sophos have warned users to be wary of unsolicited emails claiming to contain photographs, after a Trojan horse was spammed to internet users.
  • Normally when discussing the history of spam, we look back to a lawyer who spammed newsgroups about 10 years ago.
  • This bulletin is being spammed via email and it tries to con users into downloading a new Microsoft security update.

Origin

1930s: apparently from sp(iced h)am. The Internet sense appears to derive from a sketch by the British ‘Monty Python’ comedy group, set in a cafe in which every item on the menu includes spam.

Derivatives

spammer

1
noun
Example sentences
  • They have recently implemented a new way of keeping out spammers on blog comments.
  • Sadly enough, most spammers got your email address because you gave it to them!
  • That page also has information on how to report spammers to their Internet providers.

Definition of spam in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…