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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈvɪrʊləns) or


1. the quality of being virulent
2. (Pathology) the capacity of a microorganism for causing disease
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[ˈvɪrʊləns] Nvirulencia f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈvɪrjʊləns] n
[attack, anger, hatred, criticism] → virulence f
[disease, poison] → virulence f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(Med) → Heftigkeit f, → Bösartigkeit f; (of poison)Stärke f
(fig)Schärfe f, → Virulenz f (geh)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈvɪrʊləns] n (frm) → virulenza
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


n. virulencia.
1. poder de un organismo de causar determinadas enfermedades en el huésped;
2. cualidad o estado de ser virulento.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n virulencia
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
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.
And the lock of hair--that too I had always carried about me in the same pocket-book, which was now searched by Madam with the most ingratiating virulence,--the dear lock--all, every memento was torn from me."
When the typhus fever had fulfilled its mission of devastation at Lowood, it gradually disappeared from thence; but not till its virulence and the number of its victims had drawn public attention on the school.
Often it pleased the unfortunate young man to vex people with a lighter satire, yet still characterized by somewhat of snake-like virulence. One day he encountered an ambitious statesman, and gravely inquired after the welfare of his boa constrictor; for of that species, Roderick affirmed, this gentleman's serpent must needs be, since its appetite was enormous enough to devour the whole country and constitution.
Small wonder that he had accumulated such a virulence and variety of fevers, he thought, as he recalled that sleepless night of torment, when the throb of his wounds was as nothing compared with the myriad stings of the mosquitoes.
The ill-will of Miss Knag had lost nothing of its virulence in the interval.
It's true that you will find people who'll tell you that this terrific virulence in breaking through all established things, is altogether the fault of men.
Rose had neither the discrimination nor the virulence to regard the little demon as I did, and they still preserved their former intimacy.
The virulence of this poison may be judged of from the fact that in half a minute I opened the mesh, and found a large wasp quite lifeless.
He will probably be horrified to hear that men can detest each other as cordially in khaki as in any other wear, and with a virulence seldom inspired by the bearded dead-shot in the opposite trench.
A general sentiment of pity overcame the virulence of religious hatred.
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.