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skin disease, "the itch," c.1400, from Latin scabies "mange, itch, roughness," from scabere "to scratch, scrape," from PIE root *(s)kep-, a base forming words meaning "to cut, scrape, hack" (cf. Gothic scaban, Old English sceafan "to scrape, shave;" Greek skaptein "to dig;" "Old Church Slavonic skobli "scraper;" Lithuanian skabus "sharp," skabeti "to cut;" Lettish skabrs "splintery, sharp"). Related: Scabious.
scabies sca·bies (skā'bēz)
A contagious skin disease caused by Sarcoptes scabiei and characterized by intense itching.
A similar disease in animals.
skin inflammation accompanied by severe nighttime itching caused by the itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). The mite passes from person to person by close contact. Scabies is characteristically a disease of wartime, for living standards then drop, washing may be difficult, and people may be crowded together. The disease also afflicts many schoolchildren and residents of nursing homes, with periodic epidemics occurring even among persons with strict habits of hygiene and adequate living conditions