virulent

adjective vir·u·lent \ ˈvir-ə-lənt , ˈvir-yə- \
Updated on: 8 Nov 2017

Definition of virulent

1 a :marked by a rapid, severe, and destructive course
  • a virulent infection
b :able to overcome bodily defensive mechanisms :markedly pathogenic
  • virulent bacteria
2 :extremely poisonous or venomous
3 :full of malice :malignant
  • virulent racists
4 :objectionably harsh or strong
  • virulent criticism

virulently

adverb

Examples of virulent in a Sentence

  1. The country seemed to be returning to the virulent nationalism of its past.

  2. the virulent look on her face warned me that she was about to say something unkind

Recent Examples of virulent from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of virulent

Middle English, from Latin virulentus, from virus poison

Other Microbiology Terms


VIRULENT Defined for English Language Learners

virulent

adjective

Definition of virulent for English Language Learners

  • : full of hate or anger

  • : extremely or excessively harsh or strong

  • : extremely dangerous and deadly and usually spreading very quickly


VIRULENT Defined for Kids

virulent

adjective vir·u·lent \ ˈvir-ə-lənt \

Definition of virulent for Students

:spreading quickly and causing serious harm
  • a virulent disease

Medical Dictionary

virulent

adjective vir·u·lent \ -lənt \

medical Definition of virulent

1 a :marked by a rapid, severe, and malignant course
  • a virulent infection
b :able to overcome bodily defense mechanisms
  • a virulent pathogen
2 :extremely poisonous or venomous :noxious


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