[ dis-uhn-ter-ee ]
See synonyms for dysentery on Thesaurus.com
  1. Pathology. an infectious disease marked by inflammation and ulceration of the lower part of the bowels, with diarrhea that becomes mucous and hemorrhagic.

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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

Other words from dysentery

  • dys·en·ter·ic, adjective
  • post·dys·en·ter·ic, adjective

Words Nearby dysentery

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How to use dysentery in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dysentery


/ (ˈdɪsəntrɪ) /

  1. infection of the intestine with bacteria or amoebae, marked chiefly by severe diarrhoea with the passage of mucus and blood

Origin of dysentery

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

Derived forms of dysentery

  • dysenteric (ˌdɪsənˈtɛrɪk), adjective

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 dysentery


[ dĭsən-tĕr′ē ]

  1. 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.

Cultural definitions for dysentery


[ (dis-uhn-ter-ee) ]

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.

Notes for dysentery

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.