bio·​ter·​ror·​ism | \ ˌbī-ō-ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce bioterrorism (audio) , -ə-ˌri- \

Definition of bioterrorism

: terrorism involving the use of biological weapons

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Other Words from bioterrorism

bioterrorist \ ˌbī-​ō-​ˈter-​ər-​ist How to pronounce bioterrorism (audio) , -​ə-​rist \ adjective or noun

Examples of bioterrorism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the post-9/11 anthrax attacks in 2001, fears of bioterrorism encroached on American attitudes toward naturally emerging diseases. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Pandemic Year Two," 29 Dec. 2020 Amid a presidential election, Mitch Rapp and Irene Kennedy attempt to thwart a bioterrorism attack on the United States. Washington Post, "Washington Post paperback bestsellers," 7 Oct. 2020 Outbreaks of new infectious diseases, like SARS and Ebola, and threats of bioterrorism renewed interest in quarantine stations. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Quarantine 'camps' are real, but COVID-19 camp claim stretches truth," 10 Aug. 2020 The stockpile was initially designed to address bioterrorism threats after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Trump announces augmentation of National Strategic Stockpile," 15 May 2020 After 9/11, the people in charge of the stockpile were concerned about bioterrorism—threats like anthrax—and sudden, mass-casualty events like, say, a bombing at the Super Bowl. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "How the Richest Country on Earth Started Running Out of Masks," 10 Apr. 2020 In 2005, Kadlec took a job working for Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.. as a staffer on what was then the subcommittee on bioterrorism and public health preparedness. Anchorage Daily News, "Before the pandemic, Trump’s stockpile chief put the focus on biodefense. An old client benefited.," 5 May 2020 That fear drove Congress to appropriate $2.9 billion in funding in 2002 to HHS for bioterrorism preparedness, much of it for the research and development of vaccines and antidotes against weapons of mass destruction. Jenn Abelson, Washington Post, "Boom-and-bust federal funding after 9/11 undercut hospitals’ preparedness for pandemics," 2 May 2020 The app includes survival instructions for every imaginable disaster scenario—from active shooters and bioterrorism to natural disasters and nuclear explosions. Michael Ansaldo, PCWorld, "5 apps to prepare you for any emergency," 27 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bioterrorism.' 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 bioterrorism

1987, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for bioterrorism

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The first known use of bioterrorism was in 1987

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Statistics for bioterrorism

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bioterrorism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for bioterrorism


bio·​ter·​ror·​ism | \ -ˈter-ər-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce bioterrorism (audio) \

Medical Definition of bioterrorism

: terrorism involving the use of biological weapons

Other Words from bioterrorism

bioterrorist \ -​ər-​əst How to pronounce bioterrorism (audio) \ adjective or noun

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