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[kou-poks] /ˈkaʊˌpɒks/
noun, Veterinary Pathology
an eruptive disease appearing on the teats and udders of cows, in which small pustules form that contain a virus used in the vaccination of humans against smallpox.
1790-1800; cow1 + pox Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cowpox
  • Vaccinia is a much weaker version of its relatives, smallpox and cowpox.
  • Vaccinia is in the same family as cowpox and variola, but is genetically distinct from both.
  • Historical use cowpox was the original vaccine of sorts for smallpox.
British Dictionary definitions for cowpox


a contagious viral disease of cows characterized by vesicles on the skin, esp on the teats and udder. Inoculation of humans with this virus provides temporary immunity to smallpox. It can be transmitted to other species, esp cats
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cowpox in Medicine

cowpox cow·pox (kou'pŏks')
A mild, contagious skin disease of cattle, usually affecting the udder, that is caused by a virus and characterized by the eruption of a pustular rash. When the virus is transmitted to humans, as by vaccination, it can confer immunity to smallpox. Also called vaccinia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for cowpox

mildly eruptive disease of cows that when transmitted to otherwise healthy humans produces immunity to smallpox. The cowpox virus is closely related to variola, the causative virus of smallpox. The word vaccinia is sometimes used interchangeably with cowpox to refer to the human form of the disease, sometimes to refer to the causative virus, and sometimes to refer only to the artificially induced human form of cowpox.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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