coronavirus

noun

co·​ro·​na·​vi·​rus kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce coronavirus (audio)
plural coronaviruses
1
: any of a family (Coronaviridae) of large single-stranded RNA viruses that have a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped spike proteins, infect birds and many mammals including humans, and include the causative agents of MERS, SARS, and COVID-19
Coronaviruses can cause a variety of illnesses in animals, but in people coronaviruses cause one-third of common colds and sometimes respiratory infections in premature infants.Rob Stein
… in 2003 a previously unknown coronavirus caused an outbreak of SARS in humans.Ali Moh Zaki et al.
abbreviation CoV, CV
2
: an illness caused by a coronavirus
especially : covid-19
Italy has seen the most coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 2,000 people ill and 76 deaths associated with COVID-19. Dayton (Ohio) Daily News
abbreviation CV

Examples of coronavirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But that all changed during the coronavirus pandemic. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 5 July 2024 That trend, which accelerated with remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, has been at the center of a rancorous debate over how to preserve the county’s remaining farmland. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 3 July 2024 Payments had been paused for more than three years because of the coronavirus pandemic. Gillian Brassil, Sacramento Bee, 2 July 2024 The management change sets in motion another new chapter at Givenchy, which has been without a creative director since the end of 2023, when American designer Matthew M. Williams wrapped up a three-year tenure complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. Miles Socha, WWD, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for coronavirus 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coronavirus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

corona + virus, later taken as New Latin

Note: The word was introduced by a group of virologists as a short article "Coronaviruses" in the "News and Views" section of Nature (vol. 220, no. 5168, November 16, 1968, p. 650): "… avian infectious bronchitis virus has a characteristic electron microscopic appearance resembling, but distinct from, that of myxoviruses. Particles are more or less rounded in profile … there is also a characteristic 'fringe' of projections 200 Å long, which are rounded or petal shaped, rather than sharp or pointed, as in the myxoviruses. This appearance, recalling the solar corona, is shared by mouse hepatitis virus … . In the opinion of the eight virologists these viruses are members of a previously unrecognized group which they suggest should be called the coronaviruses, to recall the characteristic appearance by which these viruses are identified in the electron microscope."

First Known Use

1968, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of coronavirus was in 1968

Dictionary Entries Near coronavirus

Cite this Entry

“Coronavirus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coronavirus. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

coronavirus

noun
co·​ro·​na·​vi·​rus
kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs
1
: a virus that infects birds and many mammals including humans
2
: an illness caused by a coronavirus
especially : covid-19

Medical Definition

coronavirus

noun
co·​ro·​na·​vi·​rus kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce coronavirus (audio)
1
: any of a family (Coronaviridae) of large, single-stranded, RNA viruses that have a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped spike proteins , infect birds and many mammals including humans, and include the causative agents of blue comb, feline infectious peritonitis, COVID-19, MERS, and SARS
Coronaviruses can cause a variety of illnesses in animals, but in people coronaviruses cause one-third of common colds and sometimes respiratory infections in premature infants.Rob Stein, The Washington Post
abbreviation CoV, CV
2
: an illness caused by a coronavirus
especially : covid-19
abbreviation CV

More from Merriam-Webster on coronavirus

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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