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 And in July the US House of Representatives ordered an investigation into whether the Department of Defense had experimented with ticks and other insects as biological weapons. Jack Guy, CNN, "Potentially fatal tick-borne infection found for first time in UK," 29 Oct. 2019 And the democratization of technology creates the potential for someone in any country to build a biological weapon or a 3-D printer in his or her basement. New York Times, "Trump Officials Battle Over Plan to Keep Technology Out of Chinese Hands," 23 Oct. 2019 Smith calls Burgdorfer a biological weapon researcher., "Secret government tick experiment created Lyme disease, congressman claims," 18 July 2019 Later APCs, like the M113, were fully enclosed to protect troops from artillery and nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Restored WWII Half-Track Is a Masterpiece," 19 Nov. 2019 In addition, all three officials said, the proposal would give the North three more years to improve its arsenal, which includes chemical and biological weapons. John Walcott, Time, "Exclusive: Trump Shows 'No Interest' in New North Korea Missile Threat, Prepares Diplomatic Offer," 4 Oct. 2019 Osterholm said that ticks would be an ineffective biological weapon and that there are much more effective options., "Secret government tick experiment created Lyme disease, congressman claims," 18 July 2019 Of the countries seeking to influence negotiations with North Korea, Japan has remained the most hard-line, consistently calling for complete and immediate denuclearization as well as the removal of all missiles and biological weapons. Motoko Rich, New York Times, "Trump and Abe to Meet Before North Korea Summit," 28 May 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of biological weapon

1918, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about biological weapon

Time Traveler for biological weapon

Time Traveler

The first known use of biological weapon was in 1918

See more words from the same year

Statistics for biological weapon

Last Updated

2 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Biological weapon.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 27 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on biological weapon

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


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!