[er-uh-sip-uh-luhs, eer-uh-]
Pathology. an acute, febrile infectious disease, caused by a specific streptococcus, characterized by diffusely spreading deep-red inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes.
Also called swine erysipelas. Veterinary Pathology. a disease of swine, caused by the organism Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, characterized by urticaria, vegetative endocarditis, arthritis, and sometimes septicemia.

1350–1400; Middle English erisipila < Latin erysipelas < Greek, equivalent to erysi- (probably akin to erythrós red) + -pelas probably skin (akin to pélma sole of the foot; compare Latin pellis skin)

erysipelatous [er-uh-si-pel-uh-tuhs, eer-] , adjective
pseudoerysipelatous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To erysipelas
World English Dictionary
erysipelas (ˌɛrɪˈsɪpɪləs)
Also called: Saint Anthony's fire an acute streptococcal infectious disease of the skin, characterized by fever, headache, vomiting, and purplish raised lesions, esp on the face
[C16: from Latin, from Greek erusipelas, from Greek erusi- red + -pelas skin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., skin disease also known as St. Anthony's Fire, from Gk. erysipelas, perhaps from erythros "red" + pella "skin." Erythros is cognate with L. ruber, rufus, Goth. rauþs, O.E. read from the PIE base for "red" (see red); the initial -e- is because Gk. tends to avoid
beginning words with -r-.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

erysipelas er·y·sip·e·las (ěr'ĭ-sĭp'ə-ləs, ēr'-)
An acute disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by a hemolytic bacterium and marked by localized inflammation and fever. Also called Saint Anthony's fire.

er'y·si·pel'a·tous (-sĭ-pěl'ə-təs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


contagious infection of the skin and underlying tissue, caused by group A B-hemolytic streptococcus bacteria. Erysipelas causes affected areas of skin to turn bright red and become slightly swollen. The swollen blotches have a distinct border and slowly expand into the surrounding skin. The lesions are most commonly seen on the face, scalp, hands, and legs. They feel hot to the touch and the patient is feverish.

Learn more about erysipelas with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Several cases of erysipelas occurred in the house where the autopsy mentioned above took place, soon after the examination.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature