coronavirus

noun
co·​ro·​na·​vi·​rus | \ kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce coronavirus (audio) \
plural coronaviruses

Definition of coronavirus

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 Democrats hoping to raise the federal minimum wage can still cause headaches for President Biden, despite a ruling preventing the hike from being tucked in a sweeping coronavirus spending package. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Gone but not forgotten: Minimum wage raise still creates problems for White House," 27 Feb. 2021 Here's a look at the latest coronavirus numbers in Massachusetts, including case numbers, deaths, demographics, and more. Wudan Yan, BostonGlobe.com, "At-Home COVID testing is here," 27 Feb. 2021 The disease is caused by a coronavirus that surfaced in late 2019. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota reports 826 new COVID-19 cases, 13 more deaths," 27 Feb. 2021 Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker, Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne have all had spells on the sidelines and the club famously had to postpone its clash with Everton due to a coronavirus outbreak. Zak Garner-purkis, Forbes, "Manchester City’s Formula For Success: Run Less, Win More," 27 Feb. 2021 The Giants navigated the 2020 season with no true positive coronavirus tests and one false positive that led to two games being postponed. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "At Giants and A's spring training, 'weird' is just the new normal," 26 Feb. 2021 White House coronavirus senior adviser Andy Slavitt said it’s part of an effort to get the whole country working together to contain the virus and encourage Americans to get vaccinated. Tim Darnell, ajc, "South Carolina lifting last call, large gatherings restrictions," 26 Feb. 2021 Kentucky's coronavirus test positivity rate dropped for the eight consecutive day Friday to 5.52%, the lowest it's been since late October. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "'Another step forward': Kentucky's COVID-19 positivity rate decreases for 8th day in a row," 26 Feb. 2021 No such bills were filed this year, despite nearly 6,000 coronavirus deaths tied to Indiana long-term care facilities. Tim Evans, The Indianapolis Star, "Other states crack down after COVID-19 nursing home deaths. Indiana not so much," 26 Feb. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of coronavirus

1968, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coronavirus

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."

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The first known use of coronavirus was in 1968

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Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Coronavirus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coronavirus. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for coronavirus

coronavirus

noun
co·​ro·​na·​vi·​rus | \ kə-ˈrō-nə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce coronavirus (audio) \

Medical Definition of coronavirus

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about coronavirus

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