an abnormal condition of the body, characterized by undue rise in temperature, quickening of the pulse, and disturbance of various body functions.
an abnormally high body temperature.
the number of degrees of such a temperature above the normal.
any of a group of diseases in which high temperature is a prominent symptom: scarlet fever.
intense nervous excitement: The audience was in a fever of anticipation.
verb (used with object)
to affect with or as with fever: The excitement fevered him.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English fefer < Latin febr- (stem of febris) fever; reinforced by Anglo-French fevre, Old French fievre < Latin, as above

feverless, adjective
unfevered, adjective

1. fervent, fever, feverish ; 2. fever, temperature.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fever (ˈfiːvə)
1.  an abnormally high body temperature, accompanied by a fast pulse rate, dry skin, etcRelated: febrile, pyretic
2.  any of various diseases, such as yellow fever or scarlet fever, characterized by a high temperature
3.  intense nervous excitement or agitation: she was in a fever about her party
4.  (tr) to affect with or as if with fever
Related: febrile, pyretic
[Old English fēfor, from Latin febris]

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

late O.E. fefor, from L. febris "fever," related to fovere "to warm, heat," probably from PIE base *dhegh- "burn" (cf. Goth. dags, O.E. dæg "day," originally "the heat"); but some suggest a reduplication of a root represented by Skt. *bhur- "to be restless." Adopted into most Gmc. languages (cf.
Ger. fieber, Sw. feber, Da. fever), but not in Du. Eng. spelling infl. by O.Fr. fievre. Replaced O.E. hriðing. Extended sense of "intense nervous excitement" is from 1586.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fever fe·ver (fē'vər)

  1. Body temperature above the normal of 98.6°F (37°C). Also called pyrexia.

  2. Any of various diseases in which there is an elevation of the body temperature above normal.

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
fever   (fē'vər)  Pronunciation Key 
A body temperature that is higher than normal. Fever is the body's natural response to the release of substances called pyrogens by infectious agents such as bacteria and viruses. The pyrogens stimulate the hypothalamus in the brain to conserve heat and increase the basal metabolic rate.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Fever definition

(Deut. 28:22; Matt. 8:14; Mark 1:30; John 4:52; Acts 28:8), a burning heat, as the word so rendered denotes, which attends all febrile attacks. In all Eastern countries such diseases are very common. Peter's wife's mother is said to have suffered from a "great fever" (Luke 4:38), an instance of Luke's professional exactitude in describing disease. He adopts here the technical medical distinction, as in those times fevers were divided into the "great" and the "less."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see cabin fever; run a fever.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for fever
Early stages resemble the flu, with pink eyes, coughing and fever.
Disputed usage if her fever increases any farther, i will call the doctor.
Yellow fever has been a source of several devastating epidemics.
There is no true cure for yellow fever, therefore vaccination is important.
Idioms & Phrases
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