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prion (n.)

petrel-like bird, 1848, from Greek prion "a saw," related to priein, prizein "to saw, to be cut in pieces." So called for its bill.

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Definitions of prion from WordNet

prion (n.)
(microbiology) an infectious protein particle similar to a virus but lacking nucleic acid; thought to be the agent responsible for scrapie and other degenerative diseases of the nervous system;
From wordnet.princeton.edu