bio·​de·​fense ˌbī-(ˌ)ō-di-ˈfen(t)s How to pronounce biodefense (audio)
often attributive
: the means or methods of preventing, detecting, or managing an attack involving biological weapons

Examples of biodefense in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Luciana Borio is an infectious disease physician, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, a venture partner at ARCH Venture Partners, and former director for medical and biodefense preparedness policy at the National Security Council. Luciana Borio and Phil Krause, STAT, 12 Apr. 2024 China’s struggles with lab safety carry danger of another pandemic Beijing has called for the United States to release more details of its own biodefense research and has echoed unproven claims made by Moscow that the Pentagon is financing biological weapons labs in Ukraine. Cate Cadell, Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2023 But time is running out for reauthorizing a law that created several of the federal government’s biodefense and pandemic-preparedness programs. John Wilkerson, STAT, 7 July 2023 The National Interagency Biodefense Campus represents a partnership for biodefense research that will marshal research capabilities while consolidating resources in response to the nation’s changing needs, according to the installation’s website. Baltimore Sun, 12 May 2023 Now, a group of more than 30 heavy-hitting experts from the worlds of policy, public health, science, biodefense and patient advocacy has written a book reviewing some of those errors and making suggestions for avoiding similar missteps in the future. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2023 Emergent BioSolutions, a U.S. biodefense contractor that is manufacturing Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine in the United States, has been struck by problems and has not received FDA certification for domestic production. Washington Post, 13 May 2021 There has been no evidence that monkeypox spreads through casual interactions like having a conversation or in public places like grocery stores, said Raj Panjabi, White House senior director for global health security and biodefense, on a conference call Friday with reporters. Madison Muller,, 10 June 2022 Emergent is a longtime government contractor that has spent much of the last two decades cornering a lucrative market in federal spending on biodefense. New York Times, 10 May 2022

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

Word History

First Known Use

1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of biodefense was in 1977

Dictionary Entries Near biodefense

Cite this Entry

“Biodefense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


bio·​de·​fense -di-ˈfen(t)s How to pronounce biodefense (audio)
: the means or methods of preventing, detecting, or managing an attack involving biological weapons
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases money will continue to support research in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases throughout the Midwest.St. Louis Business Journal
often used before another noun
… funding for biodefense research and public-health preparedness has soared …Discover
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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