Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

virulence

[vir-yuh-luh ns, vir-uh-]
See more synonyms for virulence on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. quality of being virulent.
  2. Bacteriology.
    1. the relative ability of a microorganism to cause disease; degree of pathogenicity.
    2. the capability of a microorganism to cause disease.
  3. venomous hostility.
  4. intense sharpness of temper.
Show More
Often vir·u·len·cy.

Origin of virulence

1655–65; < Late Latin vīrulentia stench; see virulent, -ence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for virulence

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "We don't scare worth a cent," she snapped, with the virulence of a vixen.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • It is then said that the virulence of the microbe is attenuated.

  • All her friends were beginning to hate her with virulence, so lucky had she been!

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

  • Even the virulence of the dreaded Tarantula's bite has been greatly exaggerated.

  • The epidemic had died out not because of lack of virulence but because of lack of victims.

    Pandemic

    Jesse Franklin Bone


British Dictionary definitions for virulence

virulence

virulency

noun
  1. the quality of being virulent
  2. the capacity of a microorganism for causing disease
Show More
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 virulence

n.

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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

virulence in Medicine

virulence

(vîryə-ləns, vîrə-)
n.
  1. The quality of being poisonous.
  2. The capacity of a microorganism to cause disease.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

virulence in Culture

virulence

[(vir-yuh-luhns, vir-uh-luhns)]

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

Show More

Note

“Virulent” substances or organisms are extremely pathogenic or toxic.
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.