Etymology
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virus (n.)
Origin and meaning of virus

late 14c., "poisonous substance" (a sense now archaic), from Latin virus "poison, sap of plants, slimy liquid, a potent juice," from Proto-Italic *weis-o-(s-) "poison," which is probably from a PIE root *ueis-, perhaps originally meaning "to melt away, to flow," used of foul or malodorous fluids, but with specialization in some languages to "poisonous fluid" (source also of Sanskrit visam "venom, poison," visah "poisonous;" Avestan vish- "poison;" Latin viscum "sticky substance, birdlime;" Greek ios "poison," ixos "mistletoe, birdlime;" Old Church Slavonic višnja "cherry;" Old Irish fi "poison;" Welsh gwy "poison").

The meaning "agent that causes infectious disease" emerged by 1790s gradually out of the earlier use in reference to venereal disease (by 1728); the modern scientific use dates to the 1880s. The computer sense is from 1972.

VIRUS (among Physicians) a kind of watery stinking Matter, which issues out of Ulcers, being endued with eating and malignant Qualities. [Bailey's dictionary, 1770]
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virion (n.)
coined in French, 1959, from virus (see virus) + -on.
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virology (n.)

1935, from combining form of virus + -logy. Related: Virological.

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parvovirus (n.)

type of very small virus, 1965, from parvi- "small, little" + connecting element -o- + virus.

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rotavirus (n.)
wheel-shaped virus causing inflammation of the lining of the intestines, 1974, from Latin rota "wheel" (see rotary) + virus.
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rhinovirus (n.)

one of a group of viruses that includes those which cause many common colds, 1961, from rhino- + virus.

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viral (adj.)
"of the nature of, or caused by, a virus," 1944, see virus + -al (1). Sense of "become suddenly widely popular through internet sharing" is attested by 1999, originally in reference to marketing and based on the similarity of the effect to the spread of a computer virus. Related: Virally.
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virulent (adj.)
c. 1400, in reference to wounds, ulcers, etc., "full of corrupt or poisonous matter," from Latin virulentus "poisonous," from virus "poison" (see virus). Figurative sense of "violent, spiteful" is attested from c. 1600. Related: Virulently.
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