[ kuh n-tey-juh n ]
/ kənˈteɪ dʒən /


the communication of disease by direct or indirect contact.
a disease so communicated.
the medium by which a contagious disease is transmitted.
harmful or undesirable contact or influence.
the ready transmission or spread as of an idea or emotion from person to person: a contagion of fear.


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Origin of contagion

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin contāgiōn- (stem of contāgiō) contact, infection, equivalent to con- con- + tāg- (variant stem of tangere to touch) + -iōn- -ion; cf. contact


con·ta·gioned, adjectivenon·con·ta·gion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for contagion

British Dictionary definitions for contagion

/ (kənˈteɪdʒən) /


the transmission of disease from one person to another by direct or indirect contact
a contagious disease
another name for contagium
a corrupting or harmful influence that tends to spread; pollutant
the spreading of an emotional or mental state among a number of peoplethe contagion of mirth

Word Origin for contagion

C14: from Latin contāgiō a touching, infection, from contingere; see contact
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

Medical definitions for contagion

[ kən-tājən ]


Disease transmission by direct or indirect contact.
A disease that is or may be transmitted by direct or indirect contact; a contagious disease.
The direct cause, such as a bacterium or virus, of a communicable disease.
The spread of a behavior pattern, attitude, or emotion from person to person or group to group through suggestion, propaganda, rumor, or imitation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for contagion

[ kən-tājən ]

The transmission of an infectious disease resulting from direct or indirect contact between individuals or animals.
A disease that is transmitted in this way.
The agent that causes a contagious disease, such as a bacterium or a virus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.