coronavirus

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noun co·ro·na·vi·rus \kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs\

Definition of coronavirus

  1. :  any of a family (Coronaviridae) of single-stranded RNA viruses that have a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped projections, infect birds and many mammals including humans, and include the causative agents of MERS and SARS

Recent Examples of coronavirus from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coronavirus'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of coronavirus

New Latin, from corona + virus


First Known Use: 1968


Medical Dictionary

coronavirus

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noun co·ro·na·vi·rus \kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs\

Medical Definition of coronavirus

  1. :  any of a family (Coronaviridae) of single-stranded RNA viruses that have a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped projections, infect birds and many mammals including humans, and include the causative agents of blue comb, feline infectious peritonitis, 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, 25 Mar. 2003—abbreviation CoV


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