from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a group of viruses, many of which produce tumors, that contain RNA and reverse transcriptase, including the virus that causes AIDS.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A virus that has a genome consisting of RNA.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of a group of viruses that contain two single-strand linear RNA molecules per virion and reverse transcriptase (RNA to DNA); the virus transcribes its RNA into a cDNA provirus that is then incorporated into the host cell


From retro- (“reverse”, from its reverse direction of replication) + virus. (Wiktionary)


  • * The term retrovirus was coined later by virologists.

    The Emperor of All Maladies

  • She called me up to organise the search for the putative retrovirus from a patient presenting with an early sign of the disease, lymphodenopathy.

    Luc Montagnier - Autobiography

  • XMRV is a so-called retrovirus, which is the same type of virus as the AIDS virus.

    New evidence that virus may cause chronic fatigue

  • The study is the first to generate an infectious retrovirus from a mobile element in the human genome.

    October 30th, 2006

  • Retrogenes are formed when the mRNA encounters something-often a type of virus called a retrovirus-that turns it back into DNA through a process referred to as reverse transcription.

    R&D Mag - News

  • Retrogenes are formed when the mRNA encounters something - often a type of virus called a retrovirus - that turns it back into DNA through a process referred to as reverse transcription. - News

  • The retrovirus was a "consequence of their manufacture using human cell lines."

    EPA Study: Autism Boom Began in 1988, Environmental Factors Are Assumed

  • A retrovirus is a virus which, to use very inexact lay terminology, relies upon its host to complete its reproductive needs, that is, its DNA is transcribed using the host DNA.

    The Retrovirus

  • "HIV has been classified as a retrovirus, and the only scientifically acceptable method of isolating and identifying retroviruses has never been successfully used in the study of HIV."

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The researchers have recently found that human retrovirus, which is a common virus that does not cause disease, targets and kills cancer stem cells in breast cancer tissue.

    BC Bloggers

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.