[ bahy-oh-ter-uh-riz-uhm ]
/ ˌbaɪ oʊˈtɛr əˌrɪz əm /
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terrorist acts involving the use of harmful agents and products of biological origin, as disease-producing microorganisms or toxins.



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Origin of bioterrorism

First recorded in 1980–85; bio- + terrorism

OTHER WORDS FROM bioterrorism

bi·o·ter·ror·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for bioterrorism

British Dictionary definitions for bioterrorism




the use of living organisms and their toxic products to kill or incapacitate, esp as a political weapon

Derived forms of bio-terrorism

bio-terrorist, adjective, noun
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

Medical definitions for bioterrorism

[ bī′ō-tĕrə-rĭz′əm ]


The use of biological agents, such as pathogenic organisms or agricultural pests, for terrorist purposes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cultural definitions for bioterrorism (1 of 2)


Terrorism that relies on spreading diseases, such as anthrax and smallpox.

Cultural definitions for bioterrorism (2 of 2)


The use of biological agents as weapons of terror. Anthrax bacteria are one such agent, while smallpox is considered one of the more likely lethal viruses that could serve as a weapon of bioterror. (See germ warfare.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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