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

Examples of rotavirus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The rotavirus also used to follow a biennial pattern where cases would peak every other year, typically on even number years like 2024. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2024 The rotavirus vaccine protects against an illness that can cause severe diarrhea.4 This illness can be severe and result in hospitalization and even death from dehydration. Parents Editors, Parents, 14 Nov. 2023 Meanwhile, a lack of a reliable drinkable water infrastructure and overall unsanitary conditions resulted in the spread of parasitic and other infectious diseases, like rotavirus, cholera and salmonella – which remain leading causes of death in Gaza’s children. Yara M. Asi, Fortune, 14 Oct. 2023 The team found positive test results declined during lockdown for pathogens such as adenovirus, rotavirus, norovirus, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Cyclospora cayetanensis, and Giardia lamblia. Julia Ries, Health, 30 Aug. 2023 Jismary also tested positive for norovirus and rotavirus in the intestine and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, in the lungs. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 Other viruses that cause the stomach flu include adenovirus, astrovirus, and rotavirus, which are more common in children than adults.18 Some bacteria, chemicals, and parasites may also cause symptoms.4 The viruses may spread through contact with infected stool or vomit. Maxine Lipner, Health, 28 Aug. 2023 Research published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology looked at GI illnesses caused by pathogens like rotavirus, norovirus, and Escherichia coli in a northern California community during and after lockdowns. Julia Ries, Health, 30 Aug. 2023 Coverage rates for rotavirus vaccination have risen globally since 2010, according to World Health Organization data. Thomas J. Bollyky, Foreign Affairs, 23 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rotavirus.' 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 Latin rota wheel + New Latin virus

First Known Use

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rotavirus was in 1974

Dictionary Entries Near rotavirus

Cite this Entry

“Rotavirus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


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

: any virus of the genus Rotavirus
rotaviral adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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