human papillomavirus


: any of numerous papillomaviruses (as of the genera Alphapapillomavirus, Betapapillomavirus, and Gammapapillomavirus) that cause various human papillomas (such as genital warts and plantar warts) and include some associated with the production of human cancer
abbreviation HPV

Examples of human papillomavirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some people are familiar with human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of cervical cancer and some other cancer types. Anju Goel, Verywell Health, 25 Mar. 2024 The research later expanded to detect other cancer-causing viruses such the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Lawmakers also got rid of a policy requiring instruction about AIDS and human papillomavirus, or HPV. USA TODAY, 16 Feb. 2024 She was shocked when her gynecologist informed her that the growths were caused by the human papillomavirus, known as HPV. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 25 Aug. 2023 These profiles could be compared to uteruses in the setting of infertility, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cramps), uterine infections (such as the cancer-causing human papillomavirus and chronic endometritis), uterine fibroids, perimenopausal changes, and uterine cancer. Christine N. Metz, Scientific American, 13 May 2022 Yes, My Son Is Getting the HPV Vaccine—Here's Why How the HPV Vaccine Works The HPV vaccine protects against multiple strains of human papillomavirus. Nicole Harris, Parents, 13 Sep. 2023 That includes the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for older children to protect them from HPV infections that can cause cancer later in their lives. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 18 Aug. 2023 Vaccines work well to prevent cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Annalisa Merelli, STAT, 8 Nov. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1952, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of human papillomavirus was in 1952

Dictionary Entries Near human papillomavirus

Cite this Entry

“Human papillomavirus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

human papillomavirus

: a double-stranded DNA virus of the genus Papillomavirus (species Human papillomavirus) that has numerous genotypes causing various human warts (as the common warts of the extremities, plantar warts, and genital warts) including some associated with the production of cervical cancer

called also HPV

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