Virus Vi"rus, n. [L., a slimy liquid, a poisonous liquid, poison, stench; akin to Gr. ? poison, Skr. visha. Cf. {Wizen}, v. i.] 1. (Med.) Contagious or poisonous matter, as of specific ulcers, the bite of snakes, etc.; -- applied to organic poisons. [Archaic] [1913 Webster +PJC]

2. the causative agent of a disease, . [obsolescent] [PJC]

3. any of numerous submicroscopic complex organic objects which have genetic material and may be considered as living organisms but have no proper cell membrane, and thus cannot by themselves perform metabolic processes, requiring entry into a host cell in order to multiply. The simplest viruses have no lipid envelope and may be considered as complex aggregates of molecules, sometimes only a nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) and a coat protein. They are sometimes viewed as being on the borderline between living and nonliving objects. They are smaller than living cells in size, usually between 20 and 300 nm; thus they pass through standard filters, and were previously referred to as {filterable virus}. The manifestations of disease caused by multiplication of viruses in cells may be due to destruction of the cells caused by subversion of the cellular metabolic processes by the virus, or by synthesis of a virus-specific toxin. Viruses may infect animals, plants, or microorganisms; those infecting bacteria are also called {bacteriophages}. Certain bacteriophages may be non-destructive and benign in the host; -- see {bacteriophage}. [1913 Webster +PJC]

4. Fig.: Any morbid corrupting quality in intellectual or moral conditions; something that poisons the mind or the soul; as, the virus of obscene books. [1913 Webster]

5. (Computers) a program or segment of program code that may make copies of itself (replicate), attach itself to other programs, and perform unwanted actions within a computer; also called {computer virus} or {virus program}. Such programs are almost always introduced into a computer without the knowledge or assent of its owner, and are often malicious, causing destructive actions such as erasing data on disk, but sometime only annoying, causing peculiar objects to appear on the display. The form of sociopathic mental disease that causes a programmer to write such a program has not yet been given a name. Compare {trojan horse[3]}. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

(of a morbid nature),

Look at other dictionaries:

  • VIRUS — Le terme « virus » signifie poison en latin; la notion est donc ancienne. Mais elle est restée sans contenu précis jusqu’à Pasteur. C’est avec la découverte d’agents à l’origine des infections, et l’observation au microscope des bactéries et des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • virus — m. microb. Microorganismo que carece de estructura celular y que es considerado como la forma de vida más simple que se conoce. De tamaño comprendido entre los 300 mµ y 10 mµ solamente son visibles al microscopio electrónico. El virus, en su… …   Diccionario médico

  • ViRUS! — Datos generales Origen Zelenograd, Rusia Información artística …   Wikipedia Español

  • virus — VÍRUS, virusuri, s.n. Agent patogen, invizibil cu microscopul obişnuit, care se reproduce numai în interiorul celulelor vii şi provoacă diverse boli infecţioase; p. ext. toxina acestui agent. ♦ fig. Sursă a unui rău moral. [pl. şi: (m.) viruşi].… …   Dicționar Român

  • virus — vi‧rus [ˈvaɪərəs ǁ ˈvaɪrəs] noun [countable] COMPUTING a set of instructions secretly put onto a computer, that can destroy or change information on the computer: • The virus had already destroyed data at several US companies. compare bug * * *… …   Financial and business terms

  • Virus — Smn std. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. vīrus n. Gift, Saft . Hierzu virulent giftig, krankheitserregend .    Ebenso nndl. virus, ne. virus, nfrz. virus, nschw. virus, nisl. vírus. ✎ DF 6 (1983), 204 207. lateinisch l …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • virus — m. virus. [Note : l accent tonique porte sur la première syllabe. cf. port. vírus, esp. et ital. virus]. Virus informatic : virus informatique. voir verin …   Diccionari Personau e Evolutiu

  • VIRUS — apud Plinium, l. 17. c. 24. Cytisus necat virô, quod Halimon Graecivocant: salsugo est seu sucus salsus, uti vox apud Lucretium quoque sumitur, l. 1. v. 719. Ionium glaucis aspergit virus ad undis. Qui et, l. 2. v. 852. proherbarum succo et… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Virus — Virus: Der Fachausdruck wurde im 19. Jh. – vielleicht vermittelt durch gleichbedeutend frz. und engl. virus – aus lat. virus »Schleim, Saft, Gift« entlehnt, das u. a. mit griech. īós »Gift« und aind. viṣá m »Gift« etymologisch verwandt ist. – In …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Virüs — Datos generales Origen Barcelona, España Información  …   Wikipedia Español

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