variants or COVID or Covid or Covid-19 or less commonly covid or covid-19
1
: a mild to severe respiratory illness that is caused by a coronavirus (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 of the genus Betacoronavirus), is transmitted chiefly by contact with infectious material (such as respiratory droplets), and is characterized especially by fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath and may progress to pneumonia and respiratory failure

Note: While fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath are common symptoms of COVID-19, other symptoms may include fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

Many people who get tested regularly for COVID-19 … test positive despite reporting no symptoms at all. But such asymptomatic infections, which can also occur with other kinds of viruses, are difficult to track, since you may never know if you had one.Danielle Echeverria
But, now more than ever, we must remember that COVID is not just a personal threat but a community one. For older and immunocompromised people, the risks are still significant. For example, people over 50 account for 93 percent of COVID-related deaths in the U.S. …Yasmin Tayag
The federal government dramatically expanded the role that pharmacies play in U.S. health care, positioning them at the center of the national vaccination campaign against Covid. Two out of every 3 Covid shots have been administered by pharmacies … according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.Spencer Kimball
After the Memorial Day and Fourth of July weekends, cases of Covid-19 surged around the country after people held family gatherings or congregated in large groups.Tara Parker-Pope

called also coronavirus, coronavirus disease, coronavirus disease 2019, CV-19, CV19

see long covid
2
: the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 : sars-cov-2
The goal of the vaccine is to trick cells to produce antibodies against COVID-19's surface protein, thereby eliminating the virus with the body's own immune system.Miriam Fauzia
A weak immune system enables COVID-19 to remain in the body longer, copy itself and continually change in ways that flout existing treatment …Dennis Thompson

Examples of COVID-19 in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That overlapped with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the delta variant of COVID-19, which seemed to put an end to Biden's honeymoon period. Leah Askarinam, ABC News, 30 Nov. 2023 Torn between her career as a journalist and her empathy for her only surviving family member after just losing their mother to COVID-19, Bradley chooses her brother. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Oct. 2023 The price of experience Demand for adventure travel has shot up since COVID-19, according to Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue, a company that evacuates travelers in the event of a medical or other emergency. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 23 June 2023 At the start of production in the middle of COVID-19 quarantine, the co-directors didn’t meet one another in person for a full year into working together. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 June 2023 There’s a desire for glamour, but at the same time—after COVID-19—comfort. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 1 June 2023 One consistent thing during the pandemic: COVID-19 vaccine requirements and recommendations change. The Enquirer, 24 May 2023 The end of the national COVID-19 public health emergency has substantially shifted how coronavirus data is gathered and reported. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 May 2023 In his statement, Tedros highlighted COVID-19’s ongoing impact. Bykai Kupferschmidt, science.org, 5 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'COVID-19.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

coronavirus disease 2019

First Known Use

2020, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of COVID-19 was in 2020

Dictionary Entries Near COVID-19

Cite this Entry

“COVID-19.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/COVID-19. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition

COVID-19

noun
variants or COVID or Covid or Covid-19 also covid or covid-19
1
: a mild to severe respiratory illness that is caused by a coronavirus (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 of the genus Betacoronavirus), is transmitted chiefly by contact with infectious material (such as respiratory droplets), and is characterized especially by fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath and may progress to pneumonia and respiratory failure

Note: While fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath are common symptoms of COVID-19, other symptoms may include fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019.

Individuals with compromised immune systems, whether because of immunodeficiency or immunosuppressive therapy, are among those most susceptible to COVID-19.Edward P. K. Parker et al., The Lancet Global Health
Non-pharmaceutical measures including physical distancing, proper use of masks, … and quarantines have been imposed to delay the spread of Covid-19.Ikbel Hadj Hassine, Reviews in Medical Virology
The prevalence of COVID-19 in children is low (between 0.8% and 3.3%) and most children only display mild physical symptoms or are asymptomatic.Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer et al., European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

called also coronavirus, coronavirus disease, coronavirus disease 2019, CV-19, CV19

see long covid
2
: the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 : sars-cov-2
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!