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virulent

[ vir-yuh-luhnt, vir-uh- ]
/ ˈvɪr yə lənt, ˈvɪr ə- /
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adjective
actively poisonous; intensely noxious: a virulent insect bite.
Medicine/Medical. highly infective; malignant or deadly.
Bacteriology. causing clinical symptoms.
violently or spitefully hostile.
intensely bitter, spiteful, or malicious: a virulent attack.
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Origin of virulent

1350–1400; Middle English verulent<Latin vīrulentus, equivalent to vīr(us) poison (see virus) + -ulentus-ulent

OTHER WORDS FROM virulent

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH virulent

violent, virulent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use virulent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for virulent

virulent
/ (ˈvɪrʊlənt) /

adjective
  1. (of a microorganism) extremely infective
  2. (of a disease) having a rapid course and violent effect
extremely poisonous, injurious, etc
extremely bitter, hostile, etc

Derived forms of virulent

virulently, adverb

Word Origin for virulent

C14: from Latin vīrulentus full of poison, from vīrus poison; see 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

Medical definitions for virulent

virulent
[ vîryə-lənt, vîrə- ]

adj.
Extremely infectious, malignant, or poisonous. Used of a disease or toxin.
Capable of causing disease by breaking down protective mechanisms of the host. Used of a pathogen.
Intensely irritating, obnoxious, or harsh.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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