[ floo ]
/ flu /


a specific variety of influenza, usually named for its point of dissemination or its animal vector: Hong Kong flu; swine flu.

Nearby words

  1. flowy,
  2. floyd,
  3. floyd, carlisle,
  4. flq,
  5. flra,
  6. flub,
  7. flubdub,
  8. fluctuant,
  9. fluctuate,
  10. fluctuation

Origin of flu

First recorded in 1830–40; shortened form

Can be confusedflew flu flue

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flu

British Dictionary definitions for flu


/ (fluː) /

noun informal

the flu short for influenza
any of various viral infections, esp a respiratory or intestinal infection
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 flu



1839, flue, shortening of influenza. Spelling flu attested from 1893. For choice of middle syllable, not a common method of shortening in English, Weekley compares tec for detective, scrip for subscription.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for flu


[ flōō ]



The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for flu


[ flōō ]

See influenza.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.