• synonyms


[kuh n-tey-juh m, -jee-uh m]
noun, plural con·ta·gia [kuh n-tey-juh, -jee-uh] /kənˈteɪ dʒə, -dʒi ə/. Pathology.
  1. the causative agent of a contagious or infectious disease, as a virus.
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Origin of contagium

1645–55; < Latin, equivalent to contāg- (see contagion) + -ium -ium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contagium

Historical Examples of contagium

  • He then sought to determine how the contagium maintained its vitality.

    Fragments of science, V. 1-2

    John Tyndall

  • Thus the theory of contagium vivum, for which Henle contended as early as 1821, was not forgotten.

  • It does not follow that the contagium is the sole cause in every case in which it is present.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Nevertheless Kircher (mentioned already) is usually given undeserved credit for the contagium vivum theory.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology

    Charles Bradfield Morrey

  • Indeed, Oznam, in 1820, said it was no use to waste time in refuting hypotheses as to the animal nature of contagium.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology

    Charles Bradfield Morrey

British Dictionary definitions for contagium


noun plural -gia (-dʒɪə)
  1. pathol the specific virus or other direct cause of any infectious disease
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Word Origin for contagium

C17: from Latin, variant of contāgiō contagion
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

contagium in Medicine


n. pl. con•ta•gia (-jə)
  1. The causative agent of a communicable disease; contagion.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.