Student Dictionary

4 entries found for virus.
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Main Entry: vi·rus
Pronunciation: primarystressvimacr-rschwas
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural vi·rus·es
Etymology: from Latin virus "poison, venom, secretion"
1 : any of a large group of very tiny infectious agents that are too small to be seen with the ordinary light microscope but can often be seen with the electron microscope, that are considered either very simple microorganisms or very complicated molecules, that have an outside coat of protein around a core of RNA or DNA, that can grow and multiply only in living cells, and that cause important diseases in plants and animals including human beings -- compare FILTERABLE VIRUS
2 : a disease or illness caused by a virus
3 : a computer program that is usually hidden within another seemingly harmless program and that produces copies of itself and inserts them into other programs and usually performs a malicious action (as destroying data) -- compare : TROJAN HORSE 2, worm 5

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