biological weapon


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.

biological weapon

n.
A biological pathogen or toxin, such as the anthrax bacterium or the smallpox virus, that has been prepared for release on the battlefield or within a civilian population in sufficient concentration to cause widespread illness or death. Also called bioweapon.

biological weapon

An item of materiel which projects, disperses, or disseminates a biological agent including arthropod vectors.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.biological weapon - any weapon usable in biological warfarebiological weapon - any weapon usable in biological warfare; "they feared use of the smallpox virus as a bioweapon"
anthrax bacillus, Bacillus anthracis - a species of bacillus that causes anthrax in humans and in animals (cattle and swine and sheep and rabbits and mice and guinea pigs); can be used a bioweapon
clostridium perfringens - anaerobic Gram-positive rod bacterium that produces epsilon toxin; can be used as a bioweapon
W.M.D., weapon of mass destruction, WMD - a weapon that kills or injures civilian as well as military personnel (nuclear and chemical and biological weapons)
aflatoxin - a potent carcinogen from the fungus Aspergillus; can be produced and stored for use as a bioweapon
botulin, botulinus toxin, botulismotoxin - potent bacterial toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that causes botulism; can be used as a bioweapon
SEB, staphylococcal enterotoxin B - a form of staphylococcal enterotoxin that has been used as an incapacitating agent in biological warfare
References in periodicals archive ?
North Korea - a country that starves its own people - has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland," read the report.
Experts from the Henry Jackson Society have issued a stark warning over what they say is the "clear and present danger" of Al Qaeda gaining possession of the Assad regime's stockpile of biological weapons, claiming to have substantial evidence that Al Qaeda-linked groups may already have possession of toxic agents.
He describes the national security implications of the potential use of biological weapons by state actors as well as those with no state affiliation.
The phrase "biology happens" represents the balanced point of view underlying the work of the Office of Biological Weapons Affairs in the Bureau of Verification, Compliance and Implementation.
Bob Graham of Florida and Jim Talent of Missouri, the Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism report, says last week's rampage by a small group of gunmen in Mumbai could have been far more devastating in its impact had the terrorists had access to biological weapons.
Holmes presents the use of anthrax and other pathogens as biological weapons, starting with the Assyrians poisoning their enemies' wells in the ninth century B.
ON GUARD On the battlefield--and to a lesser extent at home--an array of devices detects chemical and biological weapons and sends out a warning.
The information in this book will help legislators understand how biological weapons would infect an exposed population and how balanced, factual information should be shared with constituents.
Francisella tularensis, the causative organism in tularemia and other diseases, is considered by authorities to be a dangerous potential biological weapon because of its extreme virulence, its ease of dissemination, and its capacity to cause severe illness and death.
Because response measures, no matter how elaborate, cannot confine the spread of disease and panic within acceptable limits, our choices must focus on preventing terrorists from acquiring or developing biological weapons.
Theoretically, however, there should be no threat of biological warfare, in light of the Biological Weapons Convention ("BWC")--signed April 10, 1972 and entered into force three years later on March 26, 1975 (1)--which bans the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons for purposes other than preventive or peaceful reasons.

Full browser ?