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[vuh-rahy-uh-luh] /vəˈraɪ ə lə/
noun, Pathology
Origin of variola
1795-1805; < Medieval Latin, equivalent to Latin vari(us) speckled (see various) + -ola -ole1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for variola
  • It belongs to the same family as the more infamous variola virus that causes smallpox.
  • Smallpox is an acute infectious disease caused by the variola virus.
  • Smallpox is an acute, contagious, and sometimes fatal disease caused by infection with a virus known as the variola virus.
British Dictionary definitions for variola


the technical name for smallpox
Derived Forms
variolar, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin: disease marked by little spots, from Latin varius spotted
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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Word Origin and History for variola

"smallpox," 1771, from medical Latin diminutive of Latin varius "changing, various," in this case "speckled" (see vary).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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variola in Medicine

variola va·ri·o·la (və-rī'ə-lə, vâr'ē-ō'lə, vār'-)
See smallpox.

va·ri'o·lar (-lər) or va·ri'o·lous (-ləs) 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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variola in Science
  (və-rī'ə-lə, vâr'ē-ō'lə)   
See smallpox.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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