Definition of virus in English:

virus

Line breaks: virus
Pronunciation: /ˈvʌɪrəs
 
/

noun

  • 1An infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host: the hepatitis B virus [as modifier]: a virus infection
    More example sentences
    • When found outside of host cells, viruses exist as a protein coat or capsid, sometimes enclosed within a membrane.
    • Such viruses enter the host cell and then rapidly multiply inside the cell before killing it.
    • Bacteriophages fit the definition of parasite to a T. In many cases new viruses multiply inside a host until the bacterium simply rips apart.
  • 1.1An infection or disease caused by a virus: I’ve had a virus
    More example sentences
    • The most recent problem has been a virus and she comes into the tournament short on match play.
    • Been off sick with a virus for like AGES!!!
    • After some months when it became clear that my malady wasn't disappearing like a good virus, this burden fell on my husband.
  • 1.2A harmful or corrupting influence: the virus of cruelty that is latent in all human beings
  • 2 (also computer virus) A piece of code which is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data.
    More example sentences
    • A computer virus or spyware application is sending us automated requests, and it appears that your computer or network has been infected.
    • Hewlett-Packard has distributed printer drivers corrupted by a computer virus.
    • A computer virus which affected the operation of Google yesterday is spreading like wildfire.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting the venom of a snake): from Latin, literally 'slimy liquid, poison'. The earlier medical sense, superseded by the current use as a result of improved scientific understanding, was 'a substance produced in the body as the result of disease, especially one capable of infecting others'.

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