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

  • n. A complete viral particle, consisting of RNA or DNA surrounded by a protein shell and constituting the infective form of a virus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A single individual particle of a virus (the viral equivalent of a cell).

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

  • n. (virology) a complete viral particle; nucleic acid and capsid (and a lipid envelope in some viruses)


vir(us) + -on1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • However, Wollman understood that the bacteriophage particle, the virion, is not the direct descendant of the infecting particle.

    André Lwoff - Nobel Lecture

  • Briefly, when a piece of a virus, called a virion, comes in contact with a cell it likes, it may attach to special landing sites on the surface of that cell.

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  • Before a virus has entered a host cell, it is called a virion -- a package of viral genetic material.

    CreationWiki - Recent changes [en]

  • The killer: a colourised transmission electron micrograph of an Ebola virus virion.

    Ebola: the solution may be in sight

  • They had focused in on a virion at sixty thousand times magnification.


  • Still others are structural proteins of the virion.

    André Lwoff - Nobel Lecture

  • Cynthia S. Goldsmith; William Bellini A look inside a single measles virus particle, or virion, made with an electron microscope.

    NPR Topics: News

  • A look inside a single measles virus particle, or virion, made with an electron microscope.

    NPR Topics: News

  • We actually created an 'electronic pet' in the computer, which we can experiment with under many different environments and conditions with a variety of drugs, and we can know every detail of the change in the virion, says Dr. Wei Ge, a professor of chemical engineering at CAS-IPE and a principal in the H1N1 modeling effort, told PopSci via email.


  • The M13 virion consists of a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) genome surrounded by a protein coating in the form of a long filament.

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