contagion

[kuhn-tey-juhn]
noun
1.
the communication of disease by direct or indirect contact.
2.
a disease so communicated.
3.
the medium by which a contagious disease is transmitted.
4.
harmful or undesirable contact or influence.
5.
the ready transmission or spread as of an idea or emotion from person to person: a contagion of fear.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin contāgiōn- (stem of contāgiō) contact, infection, equivalent to con- con- + tāg- (variant stem of tangere to touch) + -iōn- -ion; cf. contact

contagioned, adjective
noncontagion, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
contagion (kənˈteɪdʒən)
 
n
1.  the transmission of disease from one person to another by direct or indirect contact
2.  a contagious disease
3.  another name for contagium
4.  a corrupting or harmful influence that tends to spread; pollutant
5.  the spreading of an emotional or mental state among a number of people: the contagion of mirth
 
[C14: from Latin contāgiō a touching, infection, from contingere; see contact]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

contagion
late 14c., from Fr. contagion, from L. contagionem "a touching, contact, contagion," from contingere "touch closely" (see contact).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

contagion con·ta·gion (kən-tā'jən)
n.

  1. Disease transmission by direct or indirect contact.

  2. A disease that is or may be transmitted by direct or indirect contact; a contagious disease.

  3. See contagium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
contagion   (kən-tā'jən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The transmission of an infectious disease resulting from direct or indirect contact between individuals or animals.

  2. A disease that is transmitted in this way.

  3. The agent that causes a contagious disease, such as a bacterium or a virus.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The contagion's momentum has tipped from pushing uphill against all odds to
  rolling downhill with all odds behind it.
Speculative bubbles are fueled by the social contagion of boom thinking,
  encouraged by rising prices.
It is a contagion that extends to the defense of the initial lie.
First, in a highly connected environment, even a small group can spread an
  economic or thought contagion.
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