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[hahy-druh-foh-bee-uh] /ˌhaɪ drəˈfoʊ bi ə/
an abnormal or unnatural dread of water.
Origin of hydrophobia
1540-50; < Late Latin < Greek hydrophobía. See hydro-1, -phobia Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hydrophobia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He has seen more than one hydrophobia patient meet death in the most dreadful manner known to the profession.

    Miss Caprice St. George Rathborne
  • Exsection or a caustic on the scar, even after the appearance of hydrophobia.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Erasmus Darwin
  • His greatest practical triumph was undoubtedly with regard to hydrophobia, or, as it is more properly called, rabies.

    Makers of Modern Medicine James J. Walsh
  • The salivary glands seem to have a close relation to hydrophobia.

  • His liability to become rabid, and to afflict human beings with hydrophobia, appears to have had some part in it.

    Demonology and Devil-lore Moncure Daniel Conway
  • We call it hydrophobia, but they call it dewanee—the madness—and run.

    The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling
  • To regard every can as a source of botulism is worse than regarding every dog as a source of hydrophobia.

    Every Step in Canning Grace Viall Gray
  • But what about hydrophobia from the bites of the dogs and wild animals?

  • Strong mental emotion, such as the dread of hydrophobia after having been bitten by a dog, sometimes produces the affection.

British Dictionary definitions for hydrophobia


another name for rabies
a fear of drinking fluids, esp that of a person with rabies, because of painful spasms when trying to swallow Compare aquaphobia
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 hydrophobia

late 14c., idroforbia, a symptom of rabies in man (sometimes used for the disease itself), from Late Latin hydrophobia (Celsius, 50 C.E.), from Greek hydrophobos "dreading water," from hydr-, stem of hydros "water" (see water (n.1)) + phobos "dread, fear" (see phobia). So called because human sufferers show aversion to water and have difficulty swallowing it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hydrophobia in Medicine

hydrophobia hy·dro·pho·bi·a (hī'drə-fō'bē-ə)

  1. An abnormal fear of water.

  2. Rabies.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hydrophobia in Science
  1. Abnormal fear of water.

  2. Rabies.

Our Living Language  : Hydrophobia is an older term for the disease rabies, and it means "fear of water." Because of this name, many people think that rabies makes one afraid of water. In fact, this is not the case (although rabies does cause mental confusion of other kinds). The name hydrophobia comes from the fact that animals and people with rabies get spasms in their throat muscles that are so painful that they cannot eat or drink, and so will refuse water in spite of being very thirsty.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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