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diphtheria

[dif-theer-ee-uh, dip-] /dɪfˈθɪər i ə, dɪp-/
noun, Pathology
1.
a febrile, infectious disease caused by the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and characterized by the formation of a false membrane in the air passages, especially the throat.
Origin
1850-1855
1850-55; < Neo-Latin < French diphthérie < Greek diphthér(a) skin, leather + -ia -ia
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for diphtheria
  • He has survived diphtheria, a gangrenous foot, and an appendix that ruptured while he was hunting.
  • The fact was emphasized by the occurrence here and there of a few isolated deaths from diphtheria and scarlet fever.
  • Infants now routinely receive a combined pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus vaccine.
  • Think back to when smallpox, diphtheria, polio etc were real scourges.
  • Crystal structure of the complex of diphtheria toxin with an extracellular fragment of its receptor.
  • The mice built up blood antibodies against both diphtheria and tetanus.
British Dictionary definitions for diphtheria

diphtheria

/dɪpˈθɪərɪə; dɪf-/
noun
1.
an acute contagious disease caused by the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, producing fever, severe prostration, and difficulty in breathing and swallowing as the result of swelling of the throat and formation of a false membrane
Derived Forms
diphtherial, diphtheritic (ˌdɪpθəˈrɪtɪk; dɪf-), diphtheric (dɪpˈθɛrɪk; dɪf-) adjective
diphtheroid, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from French diphthérie, from Greek diphthera leather; from the nature of the membrane
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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Word Origin and History for diphtheria
diphtheria
coined 1857 in Fr. by physician Pierre Bretonneau from Gk. diphthera "hide, leather," of unknown origin; the disease so called for the tough membrane that forms in the throat. Formerly known in England as the Boulogne sore throat, since it spread from France.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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diphtheria in Medicine

diphtheria diph·the·ri·a (dĭf-thēr'ē-ə, dĭp-)
n.
An acute infectious disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and characterized by the production of a systemic toxin and the formation of a false membrane on the lining of the mucous membrane of the throat and other respiratory passages, causing difficulty in breathing, high fever, and weakness. The toxin is particularly harmful to the tissues of the heart and central nervous system.


diph'the·rit'ic (-thə-rĭt'ĭk) or diph·ther'ic (-thěr'ĭk) or diph·the'ri·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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diphtheria in Science
diphtheria
  (dĭf-thîr'ē-ə, dĭp-)   
An infectious disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae and characterized by fever, swollen glands, and the formation of a membrane in the throat that prevents breathing. Infants are routinely vaccinated against diphtheria, which was once a common cause of death in children.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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diphtheria in Culture
diphtheria [(dif-theer-ee-uh, dip-theer-ee-uh)]

An acute disease, and a contagious disease, caused by bacteria that invade mucous membranes in the body, especially those found in the throat. The bacteria produce toxic substances that can spread throughout the body.

Note: In developed countries, diphtheria has been virtually wiped out through an active program of infant immunization.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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