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herpes

[hur-peez]
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noun Pathology.
  1. any of several diseases caused by herpesvirus, characterized by eruption of blisters on the skin or mucous membranes.Compare chickenpox, genital herpes, oral herpes, shingles.
  2. herpesvirus.
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Origin of herpes

1375–1425; late Middle English < New Latin: cutaneous eruption < Greek hérpēs, literally, a creeping (akin to hérpein to creep, spread); cognate with Latin serpēns serpent
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for herpes

AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, pox, clap, HIV, STD, VD, chancroid, chlamydia, crabs, scabies

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British Dictionary definitions for herpes

herpes

noun
  1. any of several inflammatory diseases of the skin, esp herpes simplex, characterized by the formation of small watery blistersSee also genital herpes
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Word Origin for herpes

C17: via Latin from Greek: a creeping, from herpein to creep
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 herpes

n.

late 14c., "inflammatory, spreading skin condition" (used of shingles, gangrene, etc.), from Latin herpes "a spreading skin eruption," from Greek herpes, the name for the disease shingles, literally "creeping," from herpein "to creep" (cognate with Latin serpere "to creep;" see serpent). The condition was not distinguished into specific diseases until early 19c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

herpes in Medicine

herpes

(hûrpēz)
n.
  1. Any of several viral diseases causing the eruption of small blisterlike vesicles on the skin or mucous membranes, especially herpes simplex or herpes zoster.
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Related formsher•petic (hər-pĕtĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

herpes in Science

herpes

[hûrpēz]
  1. Any of several infections caused by the herpes simplex virus of the genus Simplexvirus or by the varicella-zoster virus, a herpes virus of the genus Varicellavirus. Herpes infections are characterized by painful blisters on the skin or a mucous membrane and are highly contagious. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. Varicella-zoster infection is also called shingles.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

herpes in Culture

herpes

[(hur-peez)]

A group of related diseases and the viruses that cause them. These diseases are marked by the development of blisterlike sores on the skin or mucous membranes of the body. The herpes virus may invade the mouth region, producing fever blisters or cold sores, or may cause a sexually transmitted disease in which the painful sores appear on the genitals. Chicken pox is another disease caused by a herpes virus.

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Note

After an infection, the virus remains dormant and may return at a later time. Shingles, for example, is a recurrence of the chicken pox virus, and outbreaks of genital herpes recur over time.
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.