ro·​ta·​vi·​rus | \ ˈrō-tə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce rotavirus (audio) \

Definition of rotavirus

: any of a genus (Rotavirus) of reoviruses that have a three-layered protein capsid with no outer lipid envelope when mature and that include one (species Rotavirus A) causing epidemics of severe and sometimes fatal diarrhea in infants and young children

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of rotavirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, developing vaccines based on viral proteins takes anywhere from years, such as for the human papilloma virus, to several decades, such as for rotavirus. Sanjay Mishra, The Conversation, "What the phase 1 trials of the first COVID-19 vaccine really mean," 21 May 2020 The rotavirus vaccine was approved after 26 years of testing, offers Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and co-creator of that vaccine. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Regulators would consider releasing an unapproved coronavirus vaccine," 8 May 2020 Indiana University professor of biology John Patton, who has spent nearly three decades working on a rotavirus vaccine, is exploring whether that vaccine, routinely delivered at six months of age, could be retooled to fight SARS-CoV-2. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Why an IU professor is pursuing a coronavirus vaccine just for infants," 6 May 2020 The vaccines which were mainly based on rotavirus strains predominantly found in Europe and North America is believed to exhibit a lower efficacy in Africa due to the circulation of different strain in the continent. Uwagbale Edward-ekpu, Quartz Africa, "Africa’s scientists have had to pick testing over genome sequencing for a coronavirus vaccine," 13 Apr. 2020 The rotavirus vaccine was developed during that time. Michael Reschke, Indianapolis Star, "IU researcher working on COVID-19 vaccine for infants," 5 Apr. 2020 That list could include a range of illnesses such as pneumonia, influenza, rubella, the common cold, hepatitis, rotavirus and human papillomavirus. NBC News, "Measles virus could wipe out the immune system's 'memory,' new research suggests," 31 Oct. 2019 The following year, a new vaccine against rotavirus, which causes diarrhea in babies and young children, was taken off the market after being linked to the risk of potentially deadly intestinal blockages, according to STAT. Julie Washington, cleveland, "Lyme disease vaccine discontinued, but new ways to prevent it are coming: Health Matters," 26 Jan. 2020 Vaccinating Nigerian infants against rotavirus can yield benefits worth a whopping $126 per dollar spent, thanks to the reduced toll of diarrhoea. The Economist, "Free exchange Cost-benefit analyses offend against the notion that life is priceless," 16 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rotavirus.' 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 rotavirus

1974, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rotavirus

New Latin, from Latin rota wheel + New Latin virus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rotavirus

Time Traveler for rotavirus

Time Traveler

The first known use of rotavirus was in 1974

See more words from the same year

Statistics for rotavirus

Cite this Entry

“Rotavirus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rotavirus


ro·​ta·​vi·​rus | \ ˈrōt-ə-ˌvī-rəs How to pronounce rotavirus (audio) \

Medical Definition of rotavirus

1 capitalized : a genus of reoviruses that are causative agents of gastroenteritis and that include one (species Rotavirus A) causing epidemics of severe and sometimes fatal diarrhea in infants and young children

Note: Viruses of the genus Rotavirus have a virion with a three-layered protein capsid lacking an outer lipid envelope when mature and a core of 11 discrete segments of double-stranded RNA.

2 : any virus of the genus Rotavirus

Other Words from rotavirus

rotaviral \ -​rəl How to pronounce rotaviral (audio) \ adjective

Comments on rotavirus

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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!