Definition of phishing in English:



mass noun
  • The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

    • ‘The second issue I have is that the most common attacks today collect passwords through phishing.’
    • ‘Now I'm seeing a lot more phishing: spam that purports to be from Paypal, Amazon, your bank or, hey, any bank at all.’
    • ‘The modern era of phishing is exemplified by emails messages from Nigerians posing as business partners trying to move money out of the African country.’
    • ‘To avoid being a victim of phishing, never respond to e-mail requests for personal information, no matter how official the message looks.’
    • ‘The idea, similar to the way some have tried to stop spam, is that people can easily report a site that is designed for phishing, and it goes into the communal database.’


1990s: respelling of fishing, on the pattern of phreak.