• enPR: vīʹrəs, IPA: /ˈvaɪɹəs/


  1. A submicroscopic, non-cellular structure consisting of a core of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coat, that requires a living host cell to replicate, and often causes disease in the host organism.
    • 2001, Leslie Iversen, Drugs: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford 2001, p. 64)
      Viruses are the smallest and most simplified forms of life.
  2. A disease caused by these organisms.
    He caught a virus and had to stay home from school.
  3. (archaic) Venom, as produced by a poisonous animal etc.
  4. (computing) A type of malware which can covertly transmit itself between computers via networks (especially the Internet) or removable storage such as disks, often causing damage to systems and data; also computer virus.
  5. (computing, proscribed) Any type of malware.
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