- Pathology. a chronic filarial disease resulting in lymphatic obstruction, characterized by marked enlargement of the parts affected, especially of the legs and scrotum, transmitted by mosquitoes.
- untoward growth or development: bureaucratic elephantiasis.
Origin of elephantiasis
Examples from the Web for elephantiasis
You would have thought the whole ship's company was sickening for elephantiasis.In Eastern Seas
J. J. Smith
The man who warned us was afflicted horribly with elephantiasis.
Sad to see was the elephantiasis that afflicted some of them.
No one seems really to know the cause of the South Sea elephantiasis.
Fee-fee he had, which is the native for elephantiasis and which is pronounced fay-fay.
- pathol a complication of chronic filariasis, in which nematode worms block the lymphatic vessels, usually in the legs or scrotum, causing extreme enlargement of the affected areaSee also filariasis
Word Origin and History for elephantiasis
1580s, from Greek elephantos, genitive of elephas "elephant" (see elephant) + -iasis "pathological or morbid condition." It refers to two diseases, one characterized by thickening of a body part (E. Arabum), the other, older meaning is "disease characterized by skin resembling an elephant's" (E. Græcorum, also called Egyptian leprosy).
- Chronic, often extreme enlargement and hardening of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue, especially of the legs and external genitals, resulting from lymphatic obstruction and usually caused by infestation of the lymph glands and vessels with a filarial worm.