biological warfare


Definition of biological warfare

: warfare involving the use of biological weapons also : warfare involving the use of herbicides

Examples of biological warfare in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is purportedly the result of biological warfare on the part of a native intelligent species known as Spackle, who resented the arrival of the colonizers. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland are hunted on distant planet in Chaos Walking trailer," 19 Nov. 2020 But others pushed exaggerated or false claims, like the unproven theory that the virus was engineered in a lab as part of a Chinese biological warfare strategy. Kevin Roose, New York Times, "How The Epoch Times Created a Giant Influence Machine," 24 Oct. 2020 One unproven but often-cited theory for its cause: vaccinations that members of the military received to protect against potential biological warfare. Reid Forgrave, Star Tribune, "Moorhead man's 270-mile ride in a wheelchair advocated for veterans' causes," 10 Oct. 2020 Tom Bossert, a homeland security adviser who recommended strong defenses against disease and biological warfare, left in 2018. Politifact Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Fact-checking the 2020 vice presidential debate: Kamala Harris vs. Mike Pence," 8 Oct. 2020 The events include Tank Biathalon, Sniper Frontier, Seaborne Assault, a nuclear/chemical/biological warfare event called Safe Environment, and even military working dog and equestrian competitions. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "From Tank Ballets to Arts and Crafts, Russia’s Army Games Were an Entertaining Mess," 9 Sep. 2020 The Pentagon’s research arm wants a better suit for those responding to chemical and biological warfare attacks. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "DARPA's Next-Gen Environmental Suits Could Be Inspired by Shark Skin," 6 Dec. 2019 The novel coronavirus is not an ideal biological warfare agent, experts say, because its impact on the United States and adversaries alike cannot be controlled. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Fears of biological warfare linger, while experts say coronaviruses cannot be controlled," 31 Mar. 2020 Although a few governments and criminals have made low-tech attempts to contaminate water, food, or clothing, there has been no state-on-state biological warfare since the Second World War. Elisabeth Eaves, The New Yorker, "The Risks of Building Too Many Bio Labs," 18 Mar. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of biological warfare

1921, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about biological warfare

Time Traveler for biological warfare

Time Traveler

The first known use of biological warfare was in 1921

See more words from the same year

Statistics for biological warfare

Last Updated

28 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Biological warfare.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for biological warfare

biological warfare


English Language Learners Definition of biological warfare

: the use of harmful living things (such as germs that cause disease) as weapons in a war

biological warfare

biological war·​fare | \ -ˈwȯr-ˌfa(ə)r, -ˌfe(ə)r How to pronounce biological warfare (audio) \

Medical Definition of biological warfare

: warfare involving the use of biological weapons also : warfare involving the use of herbicides

More from Merriam-Webster on biological warfare Encyclopedia article about biological warfare

Comments on biological warfare

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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