Dictionary.com

diphtheria

[ dif-theer-ee-uh, dip- ]
/ dɪfˈθɪər i ə, dɪp- /
Save This Word!

noun Pathology.
a febrile, infectious disease caused by the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and characterized by the formation of a false membrane in the air passages, especially the throat.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of diphtheria

1850–55; <New Latin <French diphthérie<Greek diphthér(a) skin, leather + -ia-ia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use diphtheria in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for diphtheria

diphtheria
/ (dɪpˈθɪərɪə, dɪf-) /

noun
an acute contagious disease caused by the bacillus Corynebacterium diphtheriae, producing fever, severe prostration, and difficulty in breathing and swallowing as the result of swelling of the throat and formation of a false membrane

Derived forms of diphtheria

diphtherial, diphtheritic (ˌdɪpθəˈrɪtɪk, dɪf-) or diphtheric (dɪpˈθɛrɪk, dɪf-), adjectivediphtheroid, adjective

Word Origin for diphtheria

C19: New Latin, from French diphthérie, from Greek diphthera leather; from the nature of the membrane
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

Scientific definitions for diphtheria

diphtheria
[ dĭf-thîrē-ə, dĭp- ]

An infectious disease caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae and characterized by fever, swollen glands, and the formation of a membrane in the throat that prevents breathing. Infants are routinely vaccinated against diphtheria, which was once a common cause of death in children.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for diphtheria

diphtheria
[ (dif-theer-ee-uh, dip-theer-ee-uh) ]

An acute disease, and a contagious disease, caused by bacteria that invade mucous membranes in the body, especially those found in the throat. The bacteria produce toxic substances that can spread throughout the body.

notes for diphtheria

In developed countries, diphtheria has been virtually wiped out through an active program of infant immunization.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK