ar·​e·​na·​vi·​rus | \ ˌa-rə-nə-ˈvī-rəs How to pronounce arenavirus (audio) , ˌer-ə-\

Definition of arenavirus

: 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

First Known Use of arenavirus

1971, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arenavirus

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arenavirus

Statistics for arenavirus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arenavirus

The first known use of arenavirus was in 1971

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for arenavirus


are·​na·​vi·​rus | \ ˌar-ə-nə-ˈvī-rəs, ə-ˌrē-\

Medical Definition of arenavirus

1 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
2 : any of the family Arenaviridae of single-stranded RNA viruses

More from Merriam-Webster on arenavirus Encyclopedia article about arenavirus

Comments on arenavirus

What made you want to look up arenavirus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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