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 The earlier medical sense, superseded by the current use as a result of improved scientific understanding, was 'a substance produced in the body as the result of disease, especially one capable of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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Pronunciation: fləˈdʒɪʃəs
adjective
(of a person or their actions) criminal; villainous