virulent

[ vir-yuh-luhnt, vir-uh- ]
/ ˈvɪr yə lənt, ˈvɪr ə- /

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.

QUIZZES

DO YOU KNOW THIS VOCABULARY FROM "THE HANDMAID'S TALE"?

"The Handmaid's Tale" was required reading for many of us in school. Everyone else has probably watched the very popular and addictive TV show. Do you remember this vocabulary from the book, and do you know what these terms mean?
Question 1 of 10
decorum

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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for virulent

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.