biological weapon


Definition of biological weapon

: a harmful biological agent (such as a pathogenic microorganism or a neurotoxin) used as a weapon to cause death or disease usually on a large scale

Examples of biological weapon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Washington had suffered through a case of smallpox and was concerned the British would use the disease as a biological weapon. Anna Rothschild, Washington Post, "Five surprising moments in vaccine history," 5 Sep. 2019 Plague outbreaks are the most notorious epidemics in history, inciting fears of plague’s use as a biological weapon today. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "Plague, explained," 20 Aug. 2019 There’s long been a conspiracy theory that the US used ticks as a biological weapon to spread Lyme disease. Catherine Kim, Vox, "Vox Sentences: A global health emergency in the DRC," 18 July 2019 Inside, the tunnels reportedly contain not only pathways, but also artillery and nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "A Cave Is No Place for Humans, So DARPA Is Sending In the Robots," 23 Aug. 2019 Chemical and biological weapons could also wreak havoc without splitting atoms. The Economist, "Should America rule out first use of nuclear weapons?," 15 Aug. 2019 The sanctions do include a presumption of denial for export licenses for items that could be used in the production of chemical and biological weapons. Washington Post, "US exempts aviation, space exports from new Russia sanctions," 4 Aug. 2019 The House ordered the Pentagon to investigate whether ticks were once used as biological weapons. Dylan Bouscher, The Mercury News, "Political Cartoons: World news weekly roundup," 19 July 2019 And, as one congressman believes, these ticks came from secret Pentagon experiments to turn ticks into biological weapons., "Secret government tick experiment created Lyme disease, congressman claims," 18 July 2019

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

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First Known Use of biological weapon

1918, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for biological weapon

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for biological weapon

The first known use of biological weapon was in 1918

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More Definitions for biological weapon

biological weapon


English Language Learners Definition of biological weapon

: a harmful living thing (such as a germ that causes disease) used as a weapon in a war

biological weapon

biological weap·​on | \ -ˈwep-ən How to pronounce biological weapon (audio) \

Medical Definition of biological weapon

: a harmful biological agent (as a pathogenic microorganism or a neurotoxin) used as a weapon to cause death or disease usually on a large scale

More from Merriam-Webster on biological weapon

Spanish Central: Translation of biological weapon Encyclopedia article about biological weapon

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