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[poks] /pɒks/
noun, Pathology.
a disease characterized by multiple skin pustules, as smallpox.
Also called soil rot. Plant Pathology. a disease of sweet potatoes, characterized by numerous pitlike lesions on the roots, caused by a fungus, Streptomyces ipomoea.
(used as an interjection to express distaste, rejection, aversion, etc.):
A pox on you and your bright ideas!
Origin of pox
1540-50 (earlier as surname); spelling variant of pocks, plural of pock Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pox
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mebbe the best thing I could do would be to take the pox and go under.

    Cavanagh: Forest Ranger Hamlin Garland
  • The pox only converts them, and that only when it kills them.

    Microcosmography John Earle
  • A pox o your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!

    The Tempest William Shakespeare
  • I little thought, fool that I was, that he would get this pox.

    Richard Carvel, Complete Winston Churchill
  • pox take the Tailors for making the Fobs so deep and narrow!

  • These words you may write, and let Joe, or Mr. Warburton, give them to him: a pox on him!

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
  • O, pox on your spelling of Latin, Johnsonibus atque, that is the way.

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
  • A pox on him, I have too many such customers on this side already.

    The Journal to Stella Jonathan Swift
British Dictionary definitions for pox


any disease characterized by the formation of pustules on the skin that often leave pockmarks when healed
the pox, an informal name for syphilis
(interjection) (archaic) a pox on someone, an expression of intense disgust or aversion for someone
Word Origin
C15: changed from pocks, plural of pock
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 pox

late 15c., spelling alteration of pockes, plural of pocke (see pock (n.)). Especially (after c.1500) of syphilis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pox in Medicine

pox (pŏks)

  1. A disease such as chickenpox or smallpox, characterized by purulent skin eruptions that may leave pockmarks.

  2. Syphilis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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