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 bioterrorist (audio) , -​ə-​rist \ adjective or noun

Examples of bioterrorism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

They're kept in case of a bioterrorism or nuclear attack, or an infectious disease outbreak with pandemic potential, one of many warehouses across the country that are part of the $7 billion Strategic National Stockpile. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Forget the VA. It's not clear Ronny Jackson can do his current job.," 25 Apr. 2018 And the Department of Defense — which is interested in genome-editing as a potential bioterrorism threat — has poured a lot of money into CRISPR research. Megan Thielking, STAT, "Your daily dose of news in health and medicine.," 12 Apr. 2018 But after Clinton left office, bioterrorism became a far more pressing threat, in the wake of several anthrax attacks in 2001. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Remembering Grim Fandango: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 3 Nov. 2018 Even smallpox, whose eradication was one of the greatest achievements of cooperative human endeavor, could return—perhaps through bioterrorism aimed at a world of now-unprotected human beings. William F. Bynum, WSJ, "‘Between Hope and Fear’ Review: Anxieties Immune to Reason," 16 Aug. 2018 But the term continued to flourish, especially after 9/11, likely encouraged by reports of anthrax becoming weaponized in bioterrorism. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "‘Weaponize,’ a Term for Arms, From the Tennis Court to the Supreme Court," 27 July 2018 To date, the worst American bioterrorism attack is still the Rajneesh cult’s decidedly non-futuristic 1984 poisoning of a salad bar in Oregon — which was recounted in Netflix’s documentary Wild Wild Country earlier this year. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Remembering Grim Fandango: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 3 Nov. 2018 Many experts agree that the United States remains underprepared for a pandemic or a bioterrorism threat. The Washington Post,, "Bill Gates calls on US to lead fight against a pandemic that could kill 33 million," 27 Apr. 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

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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Statistics for bioterrorism

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for bioterrorism

The first known use of bioterrorism was in 1987

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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 bioterrorist (audio) \ adjective or noun

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using a distributed computer network

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