“This strain of virus was particularly virulent.”
What is the best definition of virulent?
Virulent (adjective) – highly infectious, deadly, severe; or, extremely hostile
Virulence (noun) – state of being virulent or poisonous; or, hostility, malignance
GRE pro tips:
It is easy to see the root word virus in the word virulent. Because the word virus already has a deadly quality to it, it should be easy to remember that something that is virulent is deadly or severe. But when we consider that, in Latin, “virus” actually means “poison” or “venom,” the meaning becomes even more clear. Virulent literally means “full of poison or venom,” or highly toxic. In medicine, the term is often used to describe a particularly damaging disease, a potent toxin, or a quickly spreading virus strain. But virulent is also used in an abstract sense – for instance, to describe someone’s malicious thoughts or their caustic speech.
“The virulence of the snake’s poison ensured that its prey would be dead within minutes of being bitten.”
“The politician had the self-control and resolve to remain unaffected by the media’s unrelenting, virulent attacks.”