EVM stands for Ethereum Virtual Machine.
The EVM, within the Ethereum universe of Ethereum nodes, is the single global virtual computer whose “state” every network participant/node agrees on.
State refers to Ethereum’s data structure, which holds all of the network’s accounts, balances, smart contracts, and machine state, which can change from block to block on the blockchain.
Anytime a contract is executed, for example, the state of the EVM is changed.
The EVM is the primary feature that sets it apart from distributed ledger blockchains like Bitcoin, making Ethereum a platform as well as a blockchain.
EVM refers to this idea of a software platform of Ethereum that allows developers on Ethereum to create their own decentralized applications or DApps.