filterable virus
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.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • filterable virus — also filtrable virus n any of the infectious agents that pass through a filter esp. of diatomite or unglazed porcelain with the filtrate and remain virulent and that include the viruses as presently understood and various other groups (as the… …   Medical dictionary

  • filterable virus — n. any virus: so called because most viruses are capable of passing through fine filters that bacteria cannot pass through …   English World dictionary

  • filterable virus — noun or filtrable virus : any of the infectious agents that remain virulent after a fluid containing them passes through a filter of diatomite or unglazed porcelain and that include the viruses as presently understood and various other groups (as …   Useful english dictionary

  • filterable virus — a virus particle small enough to pass through a filter of diatomaceous earth or porcelain, which will not pass bacteria: chiefly historical or an informal indicator of size, as synthetic membrane filters now permit passage of the smallest virus.… …   Universalium

  • filterable virus — fil′terable vi′rus n. mcr a virus small enough to pass through a bacteria retaining filter: an informal indicator of size, as recent filters can hold back the smallest viruses • Etymology: 1910–15 …   From formal English to slang

  • filterable virus — noun Date: 1911 any of the infectious agents that pass through a filter of diatomite or unglazed porcelain with the filtrate and remain virulent and that include the viruses as presently understood and various other groups (as the mycoplasmas and …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • 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 — 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • virus program — 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Virus — A microorganism smaller than a bacteria, which cannot grow or reproduce apart from a living cell. A virus invades living cells and uses their chemical machinery to keep itself alive and to replicate itself. It may reproduce with fidelity or with… …   Medical dictionary

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