[ 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 vir·u·len·cy.

Origin of virulence

1655–65; < Late Latin vīrulentia stench; see virulent, -ence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for virulency

  • The controversy between the two is noted for the virulency of the personal invective.

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

  • Thirdly, from the virulency of the liquor it ejects, and the sad effects and symptoms that follow it.

    Micrographia|Robert Hooke
  • Sometimes, without doubt, the virulency of the disease is lessened.

    The Pears of New York|U. P. Hedrick

British Dictionary definitions for virulency



/ (ˈvɪrʊləns) /


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

Medical definitions for virulency

[ vîryə-ləns, vîrə- ]


The quality of being poisonous.
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.

Cultural definitions for virulency

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

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

notes for virulence

“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.