Copyrighted software that is available free of charge on a trial basis, usually with the condition that users pay a fee for continued use and support. (noun)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Use "shareware" in a sentence
"Thus I may be missing a nuance that distinguishes shareware from commercial software, but it seems that networking and viral distribution have become so commonplace that shareware is no longer any significant distinction."
"So, shareware is just software with a free or limited trial?"
"Experimenting with shareware is a much more pleasurable experience on a Mac."