- 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.
Origin of virulent
SynonymsSee more synonyms for virulent on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for virulent
Where the force generating those threats is a widespread, self-sustaining, and virulent social movement?Cover-Ups and Concern Trolls: Actually, It's About Ethics in Suicide Journalism
January 3, 2015
The reaction from members on both sides of the aisle to the maneuver was virulent.House Passes Controversial Bill Without A Vote
March 27, 2014
The website, edited by well-known islamophobe David Horowitz, is home to all sort of virulent anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian dreck.The Bigoted Attacks on Palestinian NFL Player Oday Aboushi
July 11, 2013
Their first activities consisted of political attack ads of the most virulent kind.The American Jewish Center is Shifting, Not Collapsing
May 13, 2013
She is believed to have contracted the virulent norovirus which is currently rampant in the UK.Queen Admitted To Hospital In Latest Royal Health Scare
March 3, 2013
The shade resting on the valley appeared that of a mighty, virulent hand.The Strollers
Frederic S. Isham
Duplicates, first buying of, 16—most virulent form of bibliomania, 173.The Book-Hunter
John Hill Burton
The scientists of Sator knew that the virus was virulent; in fact, too virulent for its own good.Islands of Space
John W Campbell
As soon as he was out of place, he had again been virulent in opposition.The History of England from the Accession of James II.
Thomas Babington Macaulay
Chicken-pox will become so virulent as to be mistaken for smallpox.Preventable Diseases
- (of a microorganism) extremely infective
- (of a disease) having a rapid course and violent effect
- extremely poisonous, injurious, etc
- extremely bitter, hostile, etc
Word Origin and History for virulent
c.1400, in reference to wounds, ulcers, etc., "full of corrupt or poisonous matter," from Latin virulentus "poisonous," from virus "poison" (see virus). Figurative sense of "violent, spiteful" is attested from c.1600. Related: Virulently.
- 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.