Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[vir-yuh-luh ns, vir-uh-] /ˈvɪr yə ləns, ˈvɪr ə-/
quality of being virulent.
  1. the relative ability of a microorganism to cause disease; degree of pathogenicity.
  2. the capability of a microorganism to cause disease.
venomous hostility.
intense sharpness of temper.
Often, virulency.
Origin of virulence
1655-65; < Late Latin vīrulentia stench; see virulent, -ence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for virulency
Historical Examples
  • The controversy between the two is noted for the virulency of the personal invective.

  • Sometimes, without doubt, the virulency of the disease is lessened.

    The Pears of New York U. P. Hedrick
  • Thirdly, from the virulency of the liquor it ejects, and the sad effects and symptoms that follow it.

    Micrographia Robert Hooke
  • And the prophets, in spite of their virulency, produced the highest forms of artistic beauty.

    The Literature of Ecstasy Albert Mordell
British Dictionary definitions for virulency


the quality of being virulent
the capacity of a microorganism for causing disease
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for virulency



1660s (virulency attested from 1610s), from Latin virulentia, from virulentus (see virulent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
virulency in Medicine

virulence vir·u·lence (vēr'yə-ləns, vēr'ə-)

  1. The quality of being poisonous.

  2. The capacity of a microorganism to cause disease.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
virulency in Culture
virulence [(vir-yuh-luhns, vir-uh-luhns)]

The capacity of a pathogen, such as a microorganism or toxin, to produce disease.

Note: “Virulent” substances or organisms are extremely pathogenic or toxic.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for virulence

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for virulency

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for virulency