follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

virulence

[vir-yuh-luh ns, vir-uh-] /ˈvɪr yə ləns, ˈvɪr ə-/
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.
Also, virulency.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65; < Late Latin vīrulentia stench; see virulent, -ence
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for virulence
  • But virulence can't be tested in fatal human infections, and tests for virus concentrations weren't performed.
  • The virulence of some of these comments is striking.
  • It seemed that virulence was easier to lose than enhance.
  • Much of the crisis' virulence came from the fact that the financial system had stopped working.
  • Whether the mutations are actually linked to the virulence of the disease remains to be verified.
  • Physicists denote the virulence of dark energy by a number called w, the equation of state.
  • These defects are apparently the reason for the virus's relative lack of virulence.
  • The concept of germs was unknown then, and the virulence of the contagion was beyond all experience.
  • The three come from different viruses and carry different kinds of danger, depending on ease of transmission and virulence.
  • The new study sheds light on the prevalence and virulence of the headline-grabbing bacteria involved in numerous outbreaks.
British Dictionary definitions for virulence

virulence

/ˈvɪrʊləns/
noun
1.
the quality of being virulent
2.
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for virulence
n.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
virulence in Medicine

virulence vir·u·lence (vēr'yə-ləns, vēr'ə-)
n.

  1. The quality of being poisonous.

  2. 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.
Cite This Source
virulence in Culture
virulence [(vir-yuh-luhns, vir-uh-luhns)]

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

Note: “Virulent” substances or organisms are extremely pathogenic or toxic.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for virulence

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for virulence

14
19
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with virulence

Nearby words for virulence