mor·​bil·​li·​vi·​rus mȯr-ˈbi-lə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce morbillivirus (audio)
: any of a genus (Morbillivirus) of paramyxoviruses that include the causative agents of canine distemper, measles, and rinderpest

Examples of morbillivirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2016, scientists began to vaccinate Hawaiian monk seals against a deadly strain of morbillivirus. Christina Larson, Chicago Tribune, 9 May 2023 In 1735, a novel disease that looked a lot like morbillivirus in humans broke out in dogs in Ecuador and Peru. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2022 Tigers are known to be vulnerable to rabies, anthrax and canine distemper, an often fatal morbillivirus commonly spread by stray dogs. Gloria Dickie, New York Times, 22 Apr. 2020 Plus, there’s currently no vaccine to inoculate monk seals from toxoplasmosis the way that HMSRP has been doing as a preventative against a morbillivirus outbreak. Kim Steutermann Rogers, Smithsonian, 9 July 2018 The School of Oceanography at the State University of Rio de Janeiro confirmed that cetacean morbillivirus, which can infect dolphins, porpoises, and whales, killed the marine mammals. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, 12 Jan. 2018 Some 1,500 dolphins were killed by a single outbreak of morbilliviruses on the East Coast several years ago. New York Times, 9 July 2018 In the northeastern United States, strains of morbillivirus killed harbor seals in 2006 and bottlenose dolphins between 1987 and 1988. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, 12 Jan. 2018 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from morbillus spot on the skin, pustule (from Medieval Latin, diminutive of Latin morbus) + virus

First Known Use

1976, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of morbillivirus was in 1976

Dictionary Entries Near morbillivirus

Cite this Entry

“Morbillivirus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


mor·​bil·​li·​vi·​rus -ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce morbillivirus (audio)
capitalized : a genus of single-stranded RNA viruses of the family Paramyxoviridae that includes the causative agents of measles, canine distemper, and rinderpest
: any of the genus Morbillivirus of paramyxoviruses

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