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 (vîr′yə-lənt, vîr′ə-)
a. Characterized by, causing, or promoting the rapid onset of severe illness. Used of a disease or toxin.
b. Capable of causing disease by aggressively interfering with the immune system of the host. Used of a pathogen.
2. Extremely hostile or malicious: virulent criticism; a virulent bigot.

[Middle English, from Latin vīrulentus, from vīrus, poison.]

vir′u·lence, vir′u·len·cy n.
vir′u·lent·ly adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.virulency - extreme harmfulness (as the capacity of a microorganism to cause disease); "the virulence of the plague"
microorganism, micro-organism - any organism of microscopic size
harmfulness, injuriousness - destructiveness that causes harm or injury
2.virulency - extreme hostility; "the virulence of the malicious old man"
hostility, ill will - a hostile (very unfriendly) disposition; "he could not conceal his hostility"


References in classic literature ?
Fortunately, the beasts seemed more bent on stretching their paws, and yawning, and flourishing their tails, than devouring me alive; but they would suffer no resurrection, and I was forced to lie till their malignant masters pleased to deliver me: then, hatless and trembling with wrath, I ordered the miscreants to let me out - on their peril to keep me one minute longer - with several incoherent threats of retaliation that, in their indefinite depth of virulency, smacked of King Lear.
The stages are brutalization, belligerency, violent performance, and virulency.
The division of the Alamo's garrison in the face of a possible invasion of Texas was itself an index to the virulency of the liquor-fueled antipathy between Travis and Bowie.