[ek-oh-vahy-ruh s]

noun, plural ech·o·vi·rus·es.

any of numerous retroviruses of the picornavirus group, some harmless and others associated with various human disorders, as aseptic meningitis.

Nearby words

  1. echomimia,
  2. echomotism,
  3. echopathy,
  4. echophrasia,
  5. echopraxia,
  6. echt,
  7. eck,
  8. eck fistula,
  9. eckermann,
  10. eckermann, johann peter

Also ech·o vi·rus, ECH·O vi·rus.

Origin of echovirus

1950–55; echo- (acronym from enteric cytopathogenic human orphan) + virus; orig. termed “orphan” because they were not known to be the cause of any disease Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for echovirus


ECHO virus


any of a group of viruses that can cause symptoms of mild meningitis, the common cold, or infections of the intestinal and respiratory tracts

Word Origin for echovirus

C20: from the initials of Enteric Cytopathic Human Orphan ("orphan" because originally believed to be unrelated to any disease) + virus

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

Word Origin and History for echovirus



also ECHO virus, 1955, acronym for enteric cytopathogenic human orphan; "orphan" because when discovered they were not known to cause any disease.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for echovirus




Any of a number of retroviruses of the family Picornaviridae, inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract and associated with various diseases, such as viral meningitis, mild respiratory infections, and severe diarrhea in newborns.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.