Definition of antiviral in English:



  • 1Medicine
    (chiefly of a drug or treatment) effective against viruses.

    • ‘For infections caused by the chickenpox or herpes viruses, antiviral drugs may be prescribed if the infection is caught early.’
    • ‘Ideally, patients should hold a stock of antiviral drugs for self treatment.’
    • ‘Harms of antiviral treatment may include drug hypersensitivity and renal impairment.’
    • ‘Specific antiviral treatment has been effective in improving the survival of the patients.’
    • ‘An urgent need exists for effective antiviral drugs to prevent and treat SARS.’
  • 2Computing
    (of software) designed to detect, remove, or offer protection against computer viruses.

    • ‘Antiviral products cannot recognize and deter new viruses.’
    • ‘Antiviral software cannot possibly keep up.’
    • ‘Users are advised not to open suspicious attachments and to update their antiviral signatures to block the virus.’
    • ‘Like the antiviral programs, they will always be reacting to the last exploit, not anticipating the next.’
    • ‘Likewise your anti-viral and anti-malware programs will also download little updates on your behalf.’


  • An antiviral drug or medicine.

    • ‘An antiviral is something one takes after you've already become sick.’
    • ‘The beauty of EBM is that it ignores mechanisms and looks at the bottom line: does the antiviral reduce the duration of illness?’
    • ‘And if it is, what they can do is that they they can't give you an antiviral for this.’
    • ‘We were talking about it in our meeting this morning, the growing of a virus and trying to make an antiviral and all of that.’
    • ‘Hence a natural anti-viral produced by a plant to defend itself can also be used by a human as an anti-viral.’