pox·​vi·​rus ˈpäks-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce poxvirus (audio)
: any of a family (Poxviridae) of brick-shaped or ovoid double-stranded DNA viruses that have a surface lipoprotein membrane covered with tubular or globular structures and that include the vaccinia virus and the causative agents of cowpox, myxomatosis of rabbits, and smallpox

Examples of poxvirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Much of Moss’ work over the years has focused on studying poxvirus’ transmission, spread, and evasion of immune responses. Sarah Owermohle, STAT, 31 May 2023 For more than half a century, scientist Bernard Moss has been commanding the attention of peers interested in prying biological secrets from poxviruses and other microbiological targets. Helen Branswell, STAT, 22 June 2023 Neither Mpox nor smallpox is related to chickenpox, which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.2 Diseases caused by poxviruses usually cause lesions, skin nodules, or rashes to form on the skin. Julia Landwehr, Health, 21 June 2023 Mpox belongs to the family of poxviruses, which includes smallpox. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 11 May 2023 Mpox — formerly known as monkeypox — is a disease caused by a poxvirus that triggers pox-like lesions on the skin and the mucus membranes of people who become infected with it. Helen Branswell, STAT, 11 May 2023 Victoria Olson, a deputy director of lab science and safety at the C.D.C., told me that the lab keeps samples because studies using a live virus could help scientists develop diagnostics, treatments and vaccines should smallpox re-emerge, or should a similar poxvirus appear. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 Although scientists know that two doses of Jynneos can elicit similar numbers of antibodies as older poxvirus vaccines, no estimates of the vaccine’s true efficacy, from large-scale clinical trials, exist; a human study in the Congo hasn’t yet reported results. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 10 Aug. 2022 Monkeypox is a poxvirus. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 5 Sep. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'poxvirus.' 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

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poxvirus was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near poxvirus

Cite this Entry

“Poxvirus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poxvirus. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


pox·​vi·​rus ˈpäks-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce poxvirus (audio)
: any of the family Poxviridae of brick-shaped or ovoid double-stranded DNA viruses

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