Meaning – The term memory leak, refers to a condition in which a computerprogram allocates memory and does not free (or properly free) this memory. If the program continues to run and is not terminated, it uses large amounts of real memory and eventually runs out of memory.
A space leak occurs when a computer program uses more memory than necessary. In contrast to memory leaks, where the leaked memory is never released, the memory consumed by a space leak is released, but later than expected.
A memory leak reduces the performance of the computer by reducing the amount of available memory. Eventually, in the worst case, too much of the available memory may become allocated and all or part of the system or device stops working correctly, the application fails, or the system slows down vastly due to thrashing.
Example of usage – “Memory leaks may not be serious or even detectable by normal means. In modern operating systems, normal memory used by an application is released when the application terminates.”