Definition of virus noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈvaɪrəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈvaɪrəs//
    Computer problems, Ailments and diseases, Being ill
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  1. 1  a living thing, too small to be seen without a microscope, that causes infectious disease in people, animals and plants the flu virus a virus infection Wordfinderbacteria, disease, epidemic, fever, illness, immunity, infection, spread, vaccinate, virus CollocationsIllnessesBecoming ill catch a cold/​an infectious disease/​the flu/(British English) flu/​pneumonia/​a virus/(informal) a bug get (British English) ill/(North American English) sick/​a disease/​AIDS/​breast cancer/​a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine come down with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu contract a deadly disease/​a serious illness/​HIV/​AIDS be infected with a virus/​a parasite/​HIV develop cancer/​diabetes/​a rash/​an ulcer/​symptoms of hepatitis have a heart attack/​a stroke provoke/​trigger/​produce an allergic reaction block/​burst/​rupture a blood vessel damage/​sever a nerve/​an artery/​a tendonBeing ill feel (British English) ill/​sick/​nauseous/​queasy be running (British English) a temperature/(North American English) a fever have a head cold/​diabetes/​heart disease/​lung cancer/​a headache/(British English) a high temperature/(North American English) a fever suffer from asthma/​malnutrition/​frequent headaches/​bouts of depression/​a mental disorder be laid up with/ (British English) be in bed with a cold/​the flu/(British English) flu/​a migraine nurse a cold/​a headache/​a hangover battle/​fight cancer/​depression/​addiction/​alcoholismTreatments examine a patient diagnose a condition/​disease/​disorder be diagnosed with cancer/​diabetes/​schizophrenia prescribe/​be given/​be on/​take drugs/​medicine/​medication/​pills/​painkillers/​antibiotics treat somebody for cancer/​depression/​shock have/​undergo an examination/​an operation/​surgery/​a kidney transplant/​therapy/​chemotherapy/​treatment for cancer have/​be given an injection/(British English) a flu jab/(North American English) a flu shot/​a blood transfusion/​a scan/​an X-ray cure a disease/​an ailment/​cancer/​a headache/​a patient prevent the spread of disease/​further outbreaks/​damage to the lungs be vaccinated against the flu/(British English) flu/​the measles/(British English) measles/​polio/​smallpox enhance/​boost/​confer/​build immunity to a disease CollocationsThe living worldAnimals animals mate/​breed/​reproduce/​feed (on something) fish/​amphibians swim/​spawn (= lay eggs) birds fly/​migrate/​nest/​sing insects crawl/​fly/​bite/​sting insects/​bees/​locusts swarm bees collect/​gather nectar/​pollen spiders spin/​weave a web snakes/​lizards shed their skins bears/​hedgehogs/​frogs hibernate insect larvae grow/​develop/​pupate an egg/​a chick/​a larva hatches attract/​find/​choose a mate produce/​release eggs/​sperm lay/​fertilize/​incubate/​hatch eggs inhabit a forest/​a reef/​the coast mark/​enter/​defend (a) territory stalk/​hunt/​capture/​catch/​kill preyPlants and fungi trees/​plants grow/​bloom/​blossom/​flower a seed germinates/​sprouts leaves/​buds/​roots/​shoots appear/​develop/​form flower buds swell/​open a fungus grows/​spreads/​colonizes something pollinate/​fertilize a flower/​plant produce/​release/​spread/​disperse pollen/​seeds/​spores produce/​bear fruit develop/​grow/​form roots/​shoots/​leaves provide/​supply/​absorb/​extract/​release nutrients perform/​increase/​reduce photosynthesisBacteria and viruses bacteria/​microbes/​viruses grow/​spread/​multiply bacteria/​microbes live/​thrive in/​on something bacteria/​microbes/​viruses evolve/​colonize something/​cause disease bacteria break something down/​convert something (into something) a virus enters/​invades something/​the body a virus mutates/​evolves/​replicates (itself) be infected with/​contaminated with/​exposed to a new strain of a virus/​drug-resistant bacteria contain/​carry/​harbour (especially US English) harbor bacteria/​a virus kill/​destroy/​eliminate harmful/​deadly bacteria See related entries: Ailments and diseases, Being ill
  2. 2  (informal) a disease caused by a virus There's a virus going around the office. See related entries: Ailments and diseases
  3. 3   instructions that are hidden within a computer program and are designed to cause faults or destroy data The virus in the software was programmed to corrupt the hard disk. CollocationsEmail and the InternetEmail receive/​get/​open an email write/​send/​answer/​forward/​delete an email check/​read/​access your email block/​filter (out) junk/​spam/​unsolicited email exchange email addresses open/​check your inbox junk mail fills/​floods/​clogs your inbox have/​set up an email account open/​send/​contain an attachment sign up for/​receive email alertsConnecting to the Internet use/​access/​log onto the Internet/​the Web go online/​on the Internet have a high-speed/​dial-up/​broadband/​wireless (Internet) connection access/​connect to/​locate the server use/​open/​close/​launch a/​your web browser browse/​surf/​search/​scour the Internet/​the Web send/​contain/​spread/​detect a(n) (computer/​email) virus update your anti-virus software install/​use/​configure a firewall accept/​enable/​block/​delete cookiesUsing the Internet visit/​check a website/​an Internet site/​somebody’s blog create/​design/​launch a website/​social networking site start/​write/​post/​read a blog update your blog/​a website be in/​meet somebody in/​go into/​enter an Internet chat room download/​upload music/​software/​a song/​a podcast/​a file/​a copy of something share information/​data/​files post a comment/​message on a(n) website/​online message board/​web forum/​Internet chat room stream video/​audio/​music/​content over the Internet join/​participate in/​visit/​provide a(n) (web-based/​web/​online/​Internet/​discussion) forum generate/​increase/​monitor Internet traffic See related entries: Computer problems
  4. see also viral
    Word Origin late Middle English (denoting the venom of a snake): from Latin, literally ‘slimy liquid, poison’. The earlier medical sense, superseded by the current use as a result of improved scientific understanding, was ‘a substance produced in the body as the result of disease, especially one capable of infecting others’.Extra examples An infected person can pass the virus to others. The virus attacks a variety of cells in the body. The virus attacks cells in the body. to write computer viruses A teenage boy was arrested for being the creator of the BomBlast virus that caused severe disruption to the country’s defence systems. Most viruses can only spread if you open an email attachment. My computer has caught some kind of virus, and it won’t let me log on to the Internet. The latest virus will attach itself to all the addresses in your email address book. There’s a virus going around the office. Your virus definitions are not up to date. anti-virus software
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: virus