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Noun, pl. viruses

1. A small infectious agent that can replicate only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of organisms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea. (

2. An infective agent that typically consists of a nucleic acid molecule in a protein coat, is too small to be seen by light microscopy, and is able to multiply only within the living cells of a host. (Google Dictionary)

3. An infection or disease caused by such an agent. (Google Dictionary)

4. A harmful or corrupting influence. (Google Dictionary)

5. A piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data. (Google Dictionary)

Word origin: Latin virus (“venom or poison”).

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