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 China has denied allegations that the coronavirus pandemic, which some believe emerged from a government lab in Wuhan, was a biological weapon. Teny Sahakian, Fox News, "China is collecting the world’s DNA and the reason is sinister: Gordon Chang," 5 Dec. 2020 In late February, some US officials began elevating a conspiracy theory that the novel coronavirus was a biological weapon manufactured by the Chinese government. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "How WeChat Censored the Coronavirus Pandemic," 27 Aug. 2020 But most of the military’s efforts have focused on defenses against biological weapons, not viruses that arise naturally or are transmitted by community spread. David E. Sanger,, "Trump seeks push to speed vaccine, despite safety concerns," 29 Apr. 2020 It was once known for developing biological weapons research during the Cold War Soviet era and is now one of the world’s largest research centers of its kind, CNN reported. Char Adams,, "Explosion Reported at Russian Lab Carrying Dangerous Viruses Like Ebola and Smallpox," 17 Sep. 2019 Paul Boykin, 46 of Loxley, was arrested and charged with possession of a destructive device/biological weapon, according to jail records. al, "Deputies allegedly find pipe bomb in Loxley man’s car," 29 Apr. 2020 Its cofounders were Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, a biological weapons expert and former professor of microbiology at SUNY Purchase. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, "How ProMED Crowdsourced the Arrival of Covid-19 and SARS," 23 Mar. 2020 Later still, the former first deputy chief of the civilian part of the Soviet biological weapons program told PBS Frontline that the leak occurred because workers forgot to replace a filter in the facility's exhaust system. Susan Scutti, Newsweek, "The Only Thing Scarier Than Bio-Warfare is the Antidote," 13 Mar. 2014 In 2004, after the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, then-president Bush signed a directive that focused on biological weapons and addressed how to contain and treat infectious diseases. Donovan Slack, USA TODAY, "The US had a chance to learn from anthrax, SARS, H1N1 and Ebola. So why is the federal coronavirus response so messy?," 23 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for biological weapon

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The first known use of biological weapon was in 1918

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Cite this Entry

“Biological weapon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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

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