bio·​ter·​ror·​ism | \ˌbī-ō-ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm, -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, -​ə-​rist \ adjective or noun

Examples of bioterrorism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is already underprepared for the increasing risks of a pandemic or bioterrorism attack., "Trump administration loses effort to halt phone-search lawsuit," 10 May 2018 But the shortage does expose a dangerous flaw in the medical supply chains that everyone relies on to counter disease outbreaks or bioterrorism. Morten Wendelbo, Washington Post, "The bad flu season has revealed a dangerous problem with our medical supply chain," 6 Mar. 2018 In a speech Friday in Boston and in his conversation with STAT, Gates several times raised the specter of the potential for a bioterrorism attack using smallpox. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Bill Gates got President Trump fired up about a universal flu vaccine — and also (maybe) got a job offer," 30 Apr. 2018 Policymakers began to get concerned about it after the 2001 anthrax-letter attacks showed how vulnerable the United States is to bioterrorism. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Fix for E. Coli Outbreaks Could Be ... the Blockchain," 28 Apr. 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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6 Dec 2018

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The first known use of bioterrorism was in 1987

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bio·​ter·​ror·​ism | \-ˈter-ər-ˌiz-əm \

Medical Definition of bioterrorism 

: terrorism involving the use of biological weapons

Other Words from bioterrorism

bioterrorist \-​ər-​əst \ adjective or noun

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to make faulty or ineffective

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