ad·​e·​no·​vi·​rus ˌa-də-nō-ˈvī-rəs How to pronounce adenovirus (audio)
: any of a family (Adenoviridae) of double-stranded DNA viruses originally identified in human adenoid tissue, causing infections of the respiratory system, conjunctiva, and gastrointestinal tract, and including some capable of inducing malignant tumors in experimental animals
adenoviral adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web So adenoviruses are DNA viruses that are in the environment. Steven Strogatz, Quanta Magazine, 5 Apr. 2023 The nasal vaccines in use in China and India rely on harmless adenoviruses to ferry their instructions into cells, although effectiveness data for these has not been published. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 3 Apr. 2023 The agency’s National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System shows positive testing for norovirus, respiratory adenovirus and human parainfluenza viruses have all been steadily increasing the past few weeks. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2023 Her team has now added adenovirus screening for her pediatric patients with liver inflammation. Erika Edwards, NBC News, 30 Mar. 2023 Brazil is concerned the vaccine could contain active adenovirus particles, responsible for the common cold, which could make recipients sick, said Gustavo Mendes, Anvisa’s medicines and biological products manager, in an interview Monday. Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, 3 May 2021 Collins noted the concerns are similar to those raised with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which also uses an adenovirus vector platform. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 15 Apr. 2021 It is made from an inactivated adenovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, and contains a piece of DNA that instructs the body to make the COVID-19 spike protein. Dr. Adjoa Smalls-mantey, ABC News, 28 Feb. 2021 It’s not known how mRNA vaccines will interact with adenovirus shots. Dallas News, 13 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Word History


aden(oid) entry 2 + -o- + virus

First Known Use

1950, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adenovirus was in 1950

Dictionary Entries Near adenovirus

Cite this Entry

“Adenovirus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


ad·​e·​no·​vi·​rus ˌad-ᵊn-ō-ˈvī-rəs How to pronounce adenovirus (audio)
: any of the family Adenoviridae of double-stranded DNA viruses
adenoviral adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on adenovirus

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