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[rey-beez] /ˈreɪ biz/
noun, Pathology.
an infectious disease of dogs, cats, and other animals, transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected animal and usually fatal if prophylactic treatment is not administered: caused by an RNA virus of the rhabdovirus group; hydrophobia.
Origin of rabies
1655-65; < Latin rabiēs rage, madness, derivative of rabere to be mad, rave
Related forms
[rab-ik, rey-bik] /ˈræb ɪk, ˈreɪ bɪk/ (Show IPA),
antirabies, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rabies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • 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
  • Therefore he followed with rabies the method that he had followed with anthrax.

    Experiments on Animals Stephen Paget
  • Tom Blair's teeth ground each other like those of a dog with rabies.

    Ben Blair Will Lillibridge
  • A guinea-pig inoculated in the eye 26th May was seized with rabies 10th September.

    Experiments on Animals Stephen Paget
  • To-day men of science are trying to conquer the horrors of cancer and smallpox, and rabies and consumption.

    God and my Neighbour Robert Blatchford
  • The form that rabies take in rabbits may fairly be called painless.

    Experiments on Animals Stephen Paget
British Dictionary definitions for rabies


(pathol) an acute infectious viral disease of the nervous system transmitted by the saliva of infected animals, esp dogs. It is characterized by excessive salivation, aversion to water, convulsions, and paralysis Also called hydrophobia, lyssa
Derived Forms
rabic (ˈræbɪk), rabietic (ˌreɪbɪˈɛtɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: madness, from rabere to rave
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 rabies

1590s, from Latin rabies "madness, rage, fury," related to rabere "be mad, rave" (see rage (v.)). Sense of "extremely fatal infectious disease causing madness in dogs" was a secondary meaning in Latin. Known hydrophobia in humans.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rabies in Medicine

rabies ra·bies (rā'bēz)
An infectious, highly fatal viral disease of warm blooded animals that attacks the central nervous system; symptoms include excitement, aggressiveness, and dementia, followed by paralysis and death.

ra'bi·et'ic (-ět'ĭk) 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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rabies in Science
A usually fatal infectious disease of warm-blooded animals caused by a virus of the genus Lyssavirus that causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It is transmitted by the bite of an infected animal, such as a dog or bat and can be prevented in humans by a vaccine. See Note at hydrophobia.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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rabies in Culture
rabies [(ray-beez)]

An acute disease, caused by a virus, which attacks the central nervous system and results in paralysis and death if not treated promptly. Rabies is transmitted to humans by the bite of an animal infected with the disease.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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