Etymology
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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.

updated on July 18, 2012

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Definitions of virulent from WordNet

virulent (adj.)
extremely poisonous or injurious; producing venom;
a virulent insect bite
Synonyms: deadly / venomous
virulent (adj.)
infectious; having the ability to cause disease;
virulent (adj.)
harsh or corrosive in tone;
Synonyms: acerb / acerbic / acid / acrid / bitter / blistering / caustic / sulfurous / sulphurous / vitriolic
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.