Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[per-tuhs-is] /pərˈtʌs ɪs/
noun, Pathology
1790-1800; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin per- per- + tussis a cough
Related forms
pertussal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pertussis
  • pertussis, known commonly as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease.
  • Measles was on the decline, pertussis was on the decline, rubella was on the decline.
  • Information on symptoms, vaccines and treatment for pertussis.
  • pertussis is a serious bacterial respiratory illness and can infect persons of all ages.
  • pertussis is increasingly being recognised as a cause of troublesome coughing in adults.
British Dictionary definitions for pertussis


the technical name for whooping cough
Derived Forms
pertussal, adjective
Word Origin
C18: New Latin, from Latin per- (intensive) + tussis cough
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pertussis

"whooping cough," 1670s (Sydenham), from Modern Latin pertussis, from per- "thoroughly" + tussis "cough," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
pertussis in Medicine

pertussis per·tus·sis (pər-tŭs'ĭs)
See whooping cough.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
pertussis in Science
See whooping cough.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pertussis

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pertussis

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pertussis