biological weapon

noun

: 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 There is no direct evidence for this, and virologists, geneticists, and the US intelligence community largely agree that SARS-CoV-2 was not developed as a biological weapon nor was it genetically engineered. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 21 Mar. 2023 Despite disagreement among the agencies about which hypothesis was more likely, the intelligence community concurred that Covid-19 wasn’t developed intentionally as a biological weapon. Riley Griffin, Fortune, 24 June 2023 In its initial form, the lab leak theory held that the Chinese government deliberately created the virus as a biological weapon. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2023 In its original form, the theory held that the Chinese deliberately created the virus as a biological weapon. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2022 Over millions of years, the snail has developed a potent biological weapon. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 14 Apr. 2022 Because the illness can kill without proper treatment and because the bacteria that causes the infection naturally lives in the soil in many parts of the world, officials have long monitored the potential for Burkholderia pseudomallei to be used as a biological weapon. Washington Post, 1 July 2021 In some ways, China’s strategy resembles efforts by American lawmakers to distract from missteps in that country by spreading fringe theories, including the unsubstantiated notion that the Chinese government manufactured the virus as a biological weapon. New York Times, 6 Dec. 2020 Last month, the U.S. intelligence community ruled out the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was developed by China as a biological weapon, but no consensus was reached on its origin. Jason Gale, Fortune, 15 Sep. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'biological weapon.' 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

1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of biological weapon was in 1918

Dictionary Entries Near biological weapon

Cite this Entry

“Biological weapon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/biological%20weapon. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

biological weapon

noun
: a harmful living thing (as a disease-causing bacterium) or something (as a poisonous substance) produced by a living thing that is used as a weapon to cause death or disease

Medical Definition

biological weapon

noun
biological weap·​on -ˈwep-ən How to pronounce biological weapon (audio)
: 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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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