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[vak-sin-ee-uh] /vækˈsɪn i ə/
a variant of the cowpox virus that became established in vaccines derived from cowpox-inoculated humans.
Pathology. an acute infection caused by inoculation with vaccinia virus as a prophylactic against smallpox, characterized by localized pustular eruptions.
Origin of vaccinia
1800-10; < New Latin; see vaccine, -ia
Related forms
vaccinial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for vaccinia
  • For several hundred years, a type of pox virus known as vaccinia has been saving lives.
  • The smallpox vaccine isn't smallpox- it's a similar pox virus called vaccinia virus that is no where near as deadly.
  • The vaccine is vaccinia virus which is in the cowpox family.
British Dictionary definitions for vaccinia


a technical name for cowpox
Derived Forms
vaccinial, adjective
Word Origin
C19: New Latin, from Latin vaccīnus of cows
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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vaccinia in Medicine

vaccinia vac·cin·i·a (vāk-sĭn'ē-ə)

  1. See cowpox.

  2. An infection induced in humans by inoculation with the vaccinia virus in order to confer resistance to smallpox; it is usually limited to the site of inoculation. Also called primary reaction.

vac·cin'i·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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