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

The group hoarded automatic weapons and recruited scientists as members to help develop chemical and biological weapons including sarin, VX, botulism and anthrax, according to Japan's National Police Agency. Author: Stuart Biggs, Gearoid Reidy, Anchorage Daily News, "Japan executes cult leader and 6 others for deadly 1995 sarin attack," 6 July 2018 Treaties banning biological weapons and land mines are successes that don’t work. Konstantin Kakaes, WSJ, "‘Army of None’ Review: Robots at the Front," 26 June 2018 Bolton appeared to widen the scope of U.S. demands, insisting that the U.S. also wanted to put elimination of North Korea's chemical and biological weapons and other issues on the table. David S. Cloud,, "U.S. officials offer economic aid, security assurances if North Korea eliminates nuclear program," 13 May 2018 Before the start of a congressional recess, lawmakers were pursuing avenues ranging from legislation to public pressure to address U.S. allegations of Russian election interference and chemical and biological weapons use. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "U.S. Finding on Russia Chemical Weapons Paves Way for New Sanctions," 6 Nov. 2018 But samples are still in storage, and bioterrorism experts say some governments, including the former Soviet Union, have in the past worked to develop the virus into a biological weapon. NBC News, "Now there's a drug to treat smallpox, just in case," 13 July 2018 Legislation introduced by a bipartisan group is intended to punish and deter malign activity including election interference and the use of chemical and biological weapons. James Marson, WSJ, "Putin Says Accused Skripal Attackers Are Civilians," 12 Sep. 2018 Finally, for book lovers, an MIT Technology Review story examined President Bill Clinton’s fascination with The Cobra Event, a 1997 novel about a biological weapon that causes victims to cannibalize themselves. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Remembering Grim Fandango: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 3 Nov. 2018 The Pentagon report also documents North Korea's cyber weapons efforts as well as its chemical and biological weapons program, which the US believes remains intact. Barbara Starr, CNN, "Pentagon's damning assessment of Kim regime made public, with summit in balance," 23 May 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Jan 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 \

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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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