• synonyms


noun Veterinary Pathology.
  1. an eruptive disease appearing on the teats and udders of cows, in which small pustules form that contain a virus used in the vaccination of humans against smallpox.
Show More

Origin of cowpox

First recorded in 1790–1800; cow1 + pox
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cowpox

Historical Examples of cowpox

  • Vaccination for the cowpox introduced with great success in Persia.

    The Every Day Book of History and Chronology

    Joel Munsell

  • Dr. Bacon is of opinion that the cowpox is now what it was at the beginning.

    Curiosities of Medical Experience

    J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen

  • By vaccinating a person we inoculate him with vaccinia or cowpox.

  • Cowpox or horsepox may be accidentally transmitted by inoculation.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Jenner was led to his great discovery by the remark of an old peasant woman: "I can't catch smallpox, for I have had cowpox."

British Dictionary definitions for cowpox


  1. a contagious viral disease of cows characterized by vesicles on the skin, esp on the teats and udder. Inoculation of humans with this virus provides temporary immunity to smallpox. It can be transmitted to other species, esp cats
Show More
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

cowpox in Medicine


  1. A mild, contagious skin disease of cattle, usually affecting the udder, that is caused by a virus and characterized by the eruption of a pustular rash. When the virus is transmitted to humans, as by vaccination, it can confer immunity to smallpox.vaccinia
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.