Definitions for virusˈvaɪ rəs

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word virus

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

vi•rusˈvaɪ rəs(n.)(pl.)-rus•es.

  1. an ultramicroscopic (20 to 300 nm in diameter), metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals: composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope.

    Category: Microbiology

  2. a disease caused by a virus.

    Category: Pathology, Informal

  3. a corrupting influence on morals or the intellect; poison.

  4. a segment of self-replicating code planted illegally in a computer program, often to damage or shut down a system or network.

    Category: Computers

Origin of virus:

1590–1600; < L vīrus slime, poison; akin to ooze2

vi′rus•like`(adj.)

Princeton's WordNet

  1. virus(noun)

    (virology) ultramicroscopic infectious agent that replicates itself only within cells of living hosts; many are pathogenic; a piece of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) wrapped in a thin coat of protein

  2. virus(noun)

    a harmful or corrupting agency

    "bigotry is a virus that must not be allowed to spread"; "the virus of jealousy is latent in everyone"

  3. virus, computer virus(noun)

    a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer

    "a true virus cannot spread to another computer without human assistance"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. virus(noun)ˈvaɪ rəs

    a tiny living organism that causes illness or disease

    I got a stomach virus.

  2. virusˈvaɪ rəs

    a program designed to damage data in a computer

    a computer virus; virus protection software

Wiktionary

  1. virus(Noun)

    Venom, as produced by a poisonous animal etc.

  2. virus(Noun)

    A submicroscopic infectious organism, now understood to be a non-cellular structure consisting of a core of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coat. It requires a living cell to replicate, and often causes disease in the host organism.

  3. virus(Noun)

    A computer virus.

  4. Origin: From virus. First use in the computer context by David Gerrold in his 1972 book When HARLIE Was One.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Virus(verb)

    contagious or poisonous matter, as of specific ulcers, the bite of snakes, etc.; -- applied to organic poisons

  2. Virus(verb)

    the special contagion, inappreciable to the senses and acting in exceedingly minute quantities, by which a disease is introduced into the organism and maintained there

  3. Virus(verb)

    fig.: Any morbid corrupting quality in intellectual or moral conditions; something that poisons the mind or the soul; as, the virus of obscene books

Freebase

  1. Virus

    A virus is a small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea. Since Dmitri Ivanovsky's 1892 article describing a non-bacterial pathogen infecting tobacco plants, and the discovery of the tobacco mosaic virus by Martinus Beijerinck in 1898, about 5,000 viruses have been described in detail, although there are millions of different types. Viruses are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most abundant type of biological entity. The study of viruses is known as virology, a sub-speciality of microbiology. Virus particles consist of two or three parts: i the genetic material made from either DNA or RNA, long molecules that carry genetic information; ii a protein coat that protects these genes; and in some cases iii an envelope of lipids that surrounds the protein coat when they are outside a cell. The shapes of viruses range from simple helical and icosahedral forms to more complex structures. The average virus is about one one-hundredth the size of the average bacterium. Most viruses are too small to be seen directly with an optical microscope.

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. virus

    [from the obvious analogy with biological viruses, via SF] A cracker program that searches out other programs and ‘infects’ them by embedding a copy of itself in them, so that they become Trojan horses. When these programs are executed, the embedded virus is executed too, thus propagating the ‘infection’. This normally happens invisibly to the user. Unlike a worm, a virus cannot infect other computers without assistance. It is propagated by vectors such as humans trading programs with their friends (see SEX). The virus may do nothing but propagate itself and then allow the program to run normally. Usually, however, after propagating silently for a while, it starts doing things like writing cute messages on the terminal or playing strange tricks with the display (some viruses include nice display hacks). Many nasty viruses, written by particularly perversely minded crackers, do irreversible damage, like nuking all the user's files.In the 1990s, viruses became a serious problem, especially among Windows users; the lack of security on these machines enables viruses to spread easily, even infecting the operating system (Unix machines, by contrast, are immune to such attacks). The production of special anti-virus software has become an industry, and a number of exaggerated media reports have caused outbreaks of near hysteria among users; many lusers tend to blame everything that doesn't work as they had expected on virus attacks. Accordingly, this sense of virus has passed not only into techspeak but into also popular usage (where it is often incorrectly used to denote a worm or even a Trojan horse). See phage; compare back door; see also Unix conspiracy.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'virus' in Nouns Frequency: #1846


Translations for virus

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary

virus(noun)

any of various types of germs that are a cause of disease.

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