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hydrophobia

[ hahy-druh-foh-bee-uh ]
/ ˌhaɪ drəˈfoʊ bi ə /
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noun
an extreme dread or fear of water, especially when associated with painful involuntary throat spasms from a rabies infection.Compare aquaphobia.
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Origin of hydrophobia

First recorded in 1540–50; from Late Latin, from Greek hydrophobía; see origin at hydro-1, -phobia
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use hydrophobia in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hydrophobia

hydrophobia
/ (ˌhaɪdrəˈfəʊbɪə) /

noun
another name for rabies
a fear of drinking fluids, esp that of a person with rabies, because of painful spasms when trying to swallowCompare aquaphobia
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 hydrophobia

hydrophobia
[ hī′drə-fōbē-ə ]

Abnormal fear of water.
Rabies.

Word History

Hydrophobia is an older term for the disease rabies, and it means “fear of water.” Because of this name, many people think that rabies makes one afraid of water. In fact, this is not the case (although rabies does cause mental confusion of other kinds). The name hydrophobia comes from the fact that animals and people with rabies get spasms in their throat muscles that are so painful that they cannot eat or drink, and so will refuse water in spite of being very thirsty.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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