The Closing Word: Virulent

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This week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (VEER-ih-lent)


1. extremely poisonous or injurious; producing venom,
2. infectious; having the ability to cause disease,
3. harsh or corrosive in tone

From “Two meanings come out of the roots for virulent: one being “poisonous” and the other, “spiteful.” The virus-carrying meaning of virulent often gets combined with strain, such as in a “virulent strain of the flu.” Those who aren’t carrying disease but are still considered virulent most likely lash out at others with a biting tone. Unleashing acid-tongued words on someone would be considered a virulent attack.”

“I urged my clients to keep cool during negotiations, but one particularly¬†virulent¬†email message nearly ruined the chance of a deal.”

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