poly·​oma·​vi·​rus | \ ˌpä-lē-ˈō-mə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce polyomavirus (audio) \

Definition of polyomavirus

: any virus of a family (Polyomaviridae and especially genus Polyomavirus) of double-stranded DNA viruses that induce tumors in specific mammals

Examples of polyomavirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The lab extracted and sequenced the genetic material in the sample, intending to look for an organism called JC polyomavirus that is a research interest of one of the team members. National Geographic, "Child Mummy Found With Oldest Known Smallpox Virus," 8 Dec. 2016

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

First Known Use of polyomavirus

1958, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polyomavirus

New Latin polyoma, from poly- + -oma

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polyomavirus

Statistics for polyomavirus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polyomavirus

The first known use of polyomavirus was in 1958

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for polyomavirus


poly·​oma·​vi·​rus | \ ˌpäl-ē-ˈō-mə-\

Medical Definition of polyomavirus

1 capitalized : a genus of double-stranded DNA viruses (family Polyomaviridae) that contain a single molecule of DNA, have a capsid composed of 72 capsomers, and induce tumors usually in specific mammals and that include simian virus 40 and the causative agent of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
2 : any of the genus Polyomavirus of double-stranded DNA viruses

More from Merriam-Webster on polyomavirus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polyomavirus

Comments on polyomavirus

What made you want to look up polyomavirus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!