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1828, from West Indian Spanish dengue, from an African source, perhaps Swahili dinga "seizure, cramp," form influenced by Spanish dengue "prudery" (perhaps because sufferers walk stiffly and erect due to painful joints). The disease is African, introduced to the West Indies 1827.
dengue den·gue (děng'gē, -gā)
An acute, infectious tropical disease caused by an arbovirus transmitted by mosquitoes, characterized by high fever, rash, headache, and severe muscle and joint pain. Also called breakbone fever, dandy fever.