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What is the plural of viruses?

Virus is one of the most common Spanish words of everyday life. It is a masculine noun, whose plural form is the same as its singular version: virus. Therefore, this word does not change, but is written in the same way both in the singular and in the plural.

Meaning of the word virus

Virus is one of the most used words in everyday vocabulary. It is also frequently used in the field of medicine, biochemistry and computer science.

According to the Royal Spanish Academy, the word virus has two meanings in Spanish:

  • It is a small organism made up of proteins and nucleic acid that reproduces in living cells, using its metabolism. It often causes all kinds of diseases.
  • It is a computer program that is surreptitiously introduced into the memory of a computer that, when activated, affects its operation, totally or partially destroying the stored information.

Etymology of the word virus

The word virus comes from the Latin term virus , which means “poison” or “poison”. This, in turn, derives from the Greek suffix – ios and the Indo-European weis -, which also mean “poison”.

This word was included in the dictionary at the beginning of the 19th century. However, until then it was used to refer to a poison, a harmful substance or secretion.

It is believed that one of the first uses of this word occurred in the first century BC, when the Roman writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus used it to describe a property of saliva that transmitted rabies.

It was after 1892, when the Russian scientist Dimitri Ivanovski discovered viruses, that this term began to be used with its current meaning.

How to spell the plural of virus

Unlike English, where the plural of virus is written viruses , in Spanish virus is a masculine noun that does not vary according to number, therefore its singular and plural forms are written the same way: virus .

As the Latin plural for the word virus is unknown , the same rule applies as for other grave and esdrújula words that end in -s or -x , such as: lunes, martes, synthesis, dose, thorax, coronavirus. These words remain unchanged and are written the same in the singular and in the plural. If necessary, the number is expressed with articles (el, los, la, las) or numeral adjectives (three, four, first, second, double, both, etc.):

  • Double dose / One dose.
  • A virus / Viruses.
  • Tuesdays / Tuesday.
  • The synthesis / The synthesis.
  • First Monday / Mondays.

Examples of sentences with the word virus

Some examples of sentences that include the word virus are:

  • Elena woke up tired and with pain in her body. She must have caught a virus.
  • After having downloaded a program with a virus, some files were deleted.
  • There are new variants of the flu virus all the time.
  • Viruses are not usually resistant to extreme temperatures.
  • The human body generates antibodies to fight bacteria and viruses.
  • It is convenient to have a good antivirus on your computer to detect viruses and malware .
  • Some viruses, such as the Ebola virus, have not yet been eradicated.
  • This pen drive does not have any virus, I have already scanned it.
  • During a long stay in a hospital you can catch an intrahospital virus.
  • The coronavirus is a virus that continues to constantly mutate.


  • RAE. Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy. Available here .
  • RAE. Basic spelling of the Spanish language. (2012). Spain. Editorial Planet.
  • Chilean etymologies. Viruses . Available here .

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