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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.
Virulency bio-assay efficiency of Beauvaria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae for the biological control of Spodoptera exigua Hubner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) eggs and the 1st instar larvae.
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.