1 of 2


an·​ti·​vi·​ral ˌan-tē-ˈvī-rəl How to pronounce antiviral (audio)
medical : acting, effective, or directed against viruses
an antiviral vaccine/drug
: used to protect a computer from viruses : antivirus
antiviral software


2 of 2


: an antiviral agent and especially a drug
antivirals used in treating influenza

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
China may be hoping that more domestic antiviral pills in development are able to fill the void. Simone Mccarthy, CNN, 13 Jan. 2023 Besides remdesivir, the FDA has granted emergency authorization to two antiviral pills: Paxlovid and molnupiravir. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 29 Dec. 2022 In June, Joe Biden’s administration began using funds previously earmarked for coronavirus tests and protective equipment to buy more antiviral pills and vaccines. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 28 Dec. 2022 Dozens of biotech firms once held ambitions to develop antibody therapies for COVID, but their numbers dwindled as vaccines and antiviral pills like Paxlovid became widely available. Ryan Cross,, 28 Dec. 2022 This includes not only vaccines, booster shots and rapid tests, but antiviral pills that can be taken at home and have been shown to greatly reduce severe illness and death if taken early. Ariana Eunjung Cha And Dan Keating, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Nov. 2022 The antiviral pills are also free, funded — like COVID-19 vaccines — by the federal government. Devi Shastri, Journal Sentinel, 4 Nov. 2022 Until now, such agreements have involved treatments for infectious diseases — notably, HIV and hepatitis C, as well as a pair of antiviral pills used to combat Covid-19. Ed Silverman, STAT, 21 Oct. 2022 The revenue growth was led by higher sales of its Covid-19 vaccine and antiviral pills, which were well above the analyst estimates. Trefis Team, Forbes, 4 Aug. 2022
About three hours after we were put in the little glass room —15 hours after coming to the emergency room — my mom started getting intravenous fluids and remdesivir, another antiviral. Helena Oliviero, ajc, 26 Jan. 2023 Doctors in some countries are frequently prescribing a Covid-19 antiviral from Merck & Co., as safety concerns about a more effective pill from Pfizer Inc. mixing with other medications take on greater importance than elsewhere. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, 3 July 2022 The results, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, suggest that the treatment had fewer side effects than Paxlovid, the go-to antiviral for high-risk patients. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 29 Dec. 2022 Paxlovid, the primary oral antiviral available in the U.S., is in short supply in China. Jason Mast, STAT, 28 Dec. 2022 China approved Pfizer’s drug Paxlovid for COVID-19 earlier this year, and two domestic therapies: an antiviral used for AIDS made by Genuine Biotech that has been repurposed for COVID-19 and a cocktail of virus-blocking antibodies made by BriiBio. Aniruddha Ghosal, Huizhong Wu And Dake Kang, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Dec. 2022 Doctors can, however, prescribe an antiviral to patients who are at risk of severe disease. Caleb Stultz, The Courier-Journal, 16 Dec. 2022 Multiple forms of go-to antibiotic amoxicillin are hard to come by, as is Tamiflu, an antiviral used to treat the flu. Erin Prater, Fortune, 12 Dec. 2022 Doctors can, however, prescribe an antiviral to patients who are at risk of severe disease. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 6 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antiviral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of antiviral was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near antiviral

Cite this Entry

“Antiviral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
an·​ti·​vi·​ral -ˈvi-rəl How to pronounce antiviral (audio)
variants also antivirus
: acting, effective, or directed against viruses
antiviral drugs


2 of 2 noun
: an antiviral agent and especially a drug
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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