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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.


(ˈvɪrʊləns) or


1. the quality of being virulent
2. (Pathology) the capacity of a microorganism for causing disease


(ˈvɪr yə ləns, ˈvɪr ə-)

also vir′u•len•cy,

1. the quality of being virulent.
2. the relative ability of a microorganism to cause disease; degree of pathogenicity.
3. venomous hostility.
4. intense sharpness of temper.
[1655–65; < Late Latin]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.virulence - 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.virulence - extreme hostility; "the virulence of the malicious old man"
hostility, ill will - a hostile (very unfriendly) disposition; "he could not conceal his hostility"




[ˈvɪrʊləns] Nvirulencia f


[ˈvɪrjʊləns] n
[attack, anger, hatred, criticism] → virulence f
[disease, poison] → virulence f


(Med) → Heftigkeit f, → Bösartigkeit f; (of poison)Stärke f
(fig)Schärfe f, → Virulenz f (geh)


[ˈvɪrʊləns] n (frm) → virulenza


n. virulencia.
1. poder de un organismo de causar determinadas enfermedades en el huésped;
2. cualidad o estado de ser virulento.


n virulencia
References in classic literature ?
They are jealous, too, of their territories, and extremely pugnacious, never permitting a strange beaver to enter their premises, and often fighting with such virulence as almost to tear each other to pieces.
And now, the landlady coming into the room, Mrs Waters fell upon her with the utmost virulence, saying, "She thought herself in a sober inn, and not in a bawdy-house; but that a set of villains had broke into her room, with an intent upon her honour, if not upon her life; and both, she said, were equally dear to her.
But he could not restrain himself and with the virulence of which only one who loves is capable, evidently suffering himself, he shook his fists at her and screamed:
It was hopelessly cracked; but of an evening, at the slightest provocation, it clattered behind the customer with impudent virulence.
At length the flames, suddenly increasing in virulence, forced the jester to climb higher up the chain, to be out of their reach; and, as he made this movement, the crowd again sank, for a brief instant, into silence.
But Volumnia the fair, being subject to the prevalent complaint of boredom and finding that disorder attacking her spirits with some virulence, ventures at length to repair to the library for change of scene.
It would be futile to attempt to describe them to Earth men, since substance is the only thing which they possess in common with any creature of the past or present with which you are familiar--even their venom is of an unearthly virulence that, by comparison, would make the cobra de capello seem quite as harmless as an angleworm.
As he opened the hall door the vile smell of chemicals which had spoilt his breakfast met him with a redoubled virulence.
The suddenness and the virulence of the exclamation startled Martin.
But, unfortunately, she had likewise to struggle against a bitter emotion of a directly opposite kind: a sentiment of virulence, we mean, towards the idle aristocracy to which it had so recently been her pride to belong.