Virus: Definition

Main Entry: vi rus
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin, venom, poisonous emanation; akin to Greek ios poison, Sanskrit visa; in senses 2 and 4, from New Latin, from Latin
Date: 1599

1 archaic : VENOM

2 a : the causative agent of an infectious disease b : any of a large group of submicroscopic infective agents that are regarded either as extremely simple microorganisms or as extremely complex molecules, that typically contain a protein coat surrounding an RNA or DNA core of genetic material but no semipermeable membrane, that are capable of growth and multiplication only in living cells, and that cause various important diseases in humans, lower animals, or plants; also : FILTERABLE VIRUS c : a disease caused by a virus

3 : something that poisons the mind or soul

4 : a computer program usually hidden within another seemingly innocuous program that produces copies of itself and inserts them into other programs and that usually performs a malicious action (as destroying data)

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