Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.
2. a disease caused by a virus.
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.
[1590–1600; < Latin vīrus slime, poison; akin to ooze2]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||computer virus - 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"|
malevolent program - a computer program designed to have undesirable or harmful effects