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1850, "frenzied passion," from Latin oestrus "frenzy, gadfly," from Greek oistros "gadfly, breeze, sting, mad impulse," perhaps from a PIE *eis, forming words denoting passion (cf. Avestan aešma- "anger," Lithuanian aistra "violent passion," Latin ira "anger"). First attested 1890 with specific meaning "rut in animals, heat." Earliest use (1690s) was for "a gadfly." Related: Estrous (1900).
estrus es·trus or oes·trus (ěs'trəs)
The periodic state of sexual excitement in the female of most mammals, excluding humans, that immediately precedes ovulation and during which the female is most receptive to mating; heat.