[dis-uh n-ter-ee]


Pathology. an infectious disease marked by inflammation and ulceration of the lower part of the bowels, with diarrhea that becomes mucous and hemorrhagic.

Origin of dysentery

1350–1400; < Medieval Latin dysenteria < Greek, equivalent to dysénter(a) bad bowels (see dys-, enteron) + -ia -ia; replacing Middle English dissenterie < Old French
Related formsdys·en·ter·ic, adjectivepost·dys·en·ter·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dysentery

flux, diarrhea, diarrhoea, tourista, turistas

Examples from the Web for dysentery

Contemporary Examples of dysentery

Historical Examples of dysentery

British Dictionary definitions for dysentery



infection of the intestine with bacteria or amoebae, marked chiefly by severe diarrhoea with the passage of mucus and blood
Derived Formsdysenteric (ˌdɪsənˈtɛrɪk), adjective

Word Origin for dysentery

C14: via Latin from Greek dusenteria, from dusentera, literally: bad bowels, from dys- + enteron intestine
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

Word Origin and History for dysentery

late 14c., dissenterie, from Old French disentere (13c.), from Latin dysenteria, from Greek dysenteria, coined by Hippocrates, from dys- "bad, abnormal, difficult" (see dys-) + entera "intestines, bowels" (see inter-). Related: Dysenteric.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dysentery in Medicine




An inflammatory disorder of the lower intestinal tract, usually caused by a bacterial, parasitic, or protozoan infection and resulting in pain, fever, and severe diarrhea, often accompanied by the passage of blood and mucus.
Related formsdys′en•teric adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dysentery in Science



A gastrointestinal disease characterized by severe, often bloody diarrhea, usually caused by infection with bacteria or parasites.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dysentery in Culture



A painful disease of the intestines characterized by inflammation and diarrhea. Dysentery may be caused by bacteria or viruses, or may occur as the result of infestation by an amoeba.


Dysentery can be transmitted by contact with water or food that has been contaminated by human waste. Public health and sanitation procedures in developed countries, however, have largely eliminated this means of transmission.
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.