bio·​threat ¦bī-(ˌ)ō-¦thret How to pronounce biothreat (audio)
plural biothreats
: a threat posed by a harmful biological agent
In 2001, a $3 million contract … funded research to develop vaccines against biothreats by activating and targeting dendritic cells.Robert Miller, Dallas Morning News, 28 Oct. 2007
Gingrich and Sanders conclude that biothreats are four times as dangerous as nuclear and chemical threats combined.Norman G. Anderson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 27 Feb. 2005
Biothreat protection requires the mask to have an airtight seal around your nose and mouth, and, sometimes, your eyes.Consumer Reports, February 2002

Word History


bi- entry 2 + threat

First Known Use

1984, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of biothreat was in 1984

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near biothreat

Cite this Entry

“Biothreat.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!