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sleeping sickness

[slee-ping sik-nis] /ˈsli pɪŋ ˌsɪk nɪs/
noun, Pathology.
Also called African sleeping sickness, African trypanosomiasis. a generally fatal disease, common in parts of Africa, characterized by fever, wasting, and progressive lethargy: caused by a parasitic protozoan, Trypanosoma gambiense or T. rhodesiense, that is carried by a tsetse fly, Glossina palpalis.
Also called epidemic encephalitis, lethargic encephalitis. a viral disease affecting the brain, characterized by apathy, sleepiness, extreme muscular weakness, and impairment of vision.
Also, British, sleepy sickness.
Origin of sleeping sickness
First recorded in 1870-75 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sleeping sickness
Historical Examples
  • "That's sleeping sickness all right," said Hamilton bitterly.

    Bones Edgar Wallace
  • Pee-wee said, Some engines have the sleeping sickness and they wont go at all.

    Roy Blakeley's Motor Caravan Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • I think its sleeping sickness or something else slow and certain.

    Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour
  • sleeping sickness is very insidious, Brand, but always fatal.

    Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour
  • The sleeping sickness is the most terrible visitor in an African home.

  • Deaths from sleeping sickness have occurred in this section of Africa.

  • And they have been killed—not dying by the sleeping sickness?

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • We have lost a few by the sleeping sickness, but only a few.

    Samba Herbert Strang
  • He then sends for you and throws out a suggestion of sleeping sickness.

    The Mystery of 31 New Inn R. Austin Freeman
  • In Africa, now, human beings are dying by millions of the sleeping sickness.

    The Human Drift Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for sleeping sickness

sleeping sickness

Also called African sleeping sickness. an African disease caused by infection with protozoans of the genus Trypanosoma, characterized by fever, wasting, and sluggishness
Also called (esp formerly) sleepy sickness. an epidemic viral form of encephalitis characterized by extreme drowsiness Technical name encephalitis lethargica
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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sleeping sickness in Medicine

sleeping sickness n.
See encephalitis lethargica.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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sleeping sickness in Science
sleeping sickness
  1. An often fatal protozoan infection prevalent in tropical Africa, caused by either of two trypanosomes spread by the bite of the tsetse fly and characterized by fever and extreme lethargy.

  2. Encephalitis that is caused by any of various viruses and is characterized by lethargy and extreme muscular weakness.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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