virus Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “virus” in the English Dictionary

"virus" in British English

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virusnoun [C]

uk   /ˈvaɪə.rəs/  us   /ˈvaɪ-/
  • virus noun [C] (DISEASE)

B2 an ​extremelysmallpiece of organicmaterial that ​causesdisease in ​humans, ​animals, and ​plants: the ​chickenpox/​flu/​herpes/​mumps virus Evidence ​suggested that the ​AIDS virus was spreading very ​quickly among the ​heterosexualcommunity.B2 a ​diseasecaused by a virus: I don't ​knowexactly what's ​wrong with her - I ​think she has some ​kind of virus. Several ​employees were off ​work with a ​vomiting virus.

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  • virus noun [C] (COMPUTER PROBLEM)

B1 a ​computerprogram or ​part of a ​computerprogram that can make ​copies of itself and is ​intended to ​prevent the ​computer from ​workingnormally

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(Definition of virus from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"virus" in American English

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virusnoun [C]

 us   /ˈvɑɪ·rəs/
  • virus noun [C] (SMALL ORGANISM)

biology a very ​smallorganism that ​causesdisease in humans, ​animals, and ​plants A virus is also a ​disease caused by a virus: She’s had a virus for several ​days.
  • virus noun [C] (COMPUTER PROBLEM)

a ​hidden set of ​instructions in a ​computerprogram that is ​intended to ​introducefaults into a ​computersystem or ​cause it to ​performactions that were not ​planned
(Definition of virus from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"virus" in Business English

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virusnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈvaɪərəs/ (also computer virus) IT
a harmful ​computerprogram intended to prevent ​computers from ​workingnormally: All their ​customerinformation was ​wiped off the ​computer by a virus. I got a virus alert when I ​downloaded my ​email. Virus attacks are the largest ​source of ​financialloss, ​followed by ​unauthorizedaccess.
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(Definition of virus from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“virus” in British English

“virus” in American English

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