ar·​e·​na·​vi·​rus ˌer-ə-nə-ˈvī-rəs How to pronounce arenavirus (audio)
: any of a family (Arenaviridae) of single-stranded RNA viruses having a dense outer lipid envelope covered by numerous club-shaped projections and including the causative agents of lymphocytic choriomeningitis and Lassa fever

Examples of arenavirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the lab, Arturo prepared grids of viral proteins to better visualize a particular pathogen—a type of arenavirus—and discover how to neutralize it. Jillian Kramer, Scientific American, 12 Aug. 2020

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

Word History


New Latin, ultimately from Latin arena sand + New Latin virus; from the fine granules seen in cross sections of the virion

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of arenavirus was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near arenavirus

Cite this Entry

“Arenavirus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Medical Definition


ˌar-ə-nə-ˈvī-rəs, ə-ˌrē-
capitalized : a genus of the family Arenaviridae that includes the Machupo virus, the Junin virus, and the causative agents of lymphocytic choriomeningitis and Lassa fever
: any of the family Arenaviridae of single-stranded RNA viruses

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