retrovirus

noun
ret·​ro·​vi·​rus | \ ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce retrovirus (audio) \

Definition of retrovirus

: any of a family (Retroviridae) of single-stranded RNA viruses that produce reverse transcriptase by means of which DNA is produced using their RNA as a template and incorporated into the genome of infected cells, that are often tumorigenic, and that include the lentiviruses (such as the HIVs) and the causative agent of Rous sarcoma

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from retrovirus

retroviral \ ˈre-​trō-​ˌvī-​rəl How to pronounce retroviral (audio) \ adjective

Examples of retrovirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers knew retroviruses—which transcribe their RNA genome into DNA and integrate it into a host cell's genome—existed in animals. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists are declaring war against a leukemia-causing virus that has infected millions," 23 May 2018 Feline leukemia, a usually fatal cancer caused by a retrovirus, spreads from cat to cat via saliva, when the animals lick, bite, or groom one another. Dr. Rob Sharp, Country Living, "Does my Indoor Cat Need Feline Leukemia Vaccine?," 28 June 2010 And in lab experiments, these porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVs) tended to leap from pig to human cells. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Pig Cells That Won’t Go Retro," 24 Jan. 2018 The team also led the development of retroviruses as vectors to deliver DNA for gene therapy. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "Famed cancer biologist allegedly sexually harassed women for decades," 26 Apr. 2018 Gandy cited research that identified high levels of retrovirus in the brains of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Surprising discovery about viruses and Alzheimer’s disease could open new avenues for treatment," 22 June 2018 Some overlapped with regions of the genome that seem to belong to retroviruses that invaded our ancestors’ genomes; others belong to other repetitive stretches, which are rarely translated into proteins. Cassandra Willyard, Scientific American, "New Human Gene Tally Reignites Debate," 19 June 2018 The discovery of the first human retrovirus in 1980 was a minor scientific sensation. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists are declaring war against a leukemia-causing virus that has infected millions," 23 May 2018 First of all, HIV is a retrovirus, a type of virus that rarely infects humans. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Man Who Says Science Blew Its Best Shot at an AIDS Vaccine," 1 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of retrovirus

1975, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for retrovirus

New Latin

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about retrovirus

Dictionary Entries near retrovirus

retroversion

retroverted

retrovirology

retrovirus

retry

retsina

retter

Statistics for retrovirus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retrovirus

The first known use of retrovirus was in 1975

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for retrovirus

retrovirus

noun
ret·​ro·​vi·​rus | \ ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce retrovirus (audio) \

Medical Definition of retrovirus

: any of the family Retroviridae of single-stranded RNA viruses

called also RNA tumor virus

Other Words from retrovirus

retroviral \ -​rəl How to pronounce retroviral (audio) \ adjective
retrovirally \ -​ē How to pronounce retrovirally (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on retrovirus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about retrovirus

Comments on retrovirus

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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