• synonyms


[ik-ter-uh s]
noun Pathology.
  1. jaundice(def 1).
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Origin of icterus

1700–10; < Latin < Greek íkteros jaundice, a yellow bird said to cure jaundice when seen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for icterus

Historical Examples of icterus

  • Icterus and a swollen abdomen—the rest was essentially normal.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • Icterus phœniceus (red-winged blackbird), Umbazookskus River.

    The Maine Woods

    Henry David Thoreau

  • But, on the contrary, icterus has rarely been noted in scurvy.

    Scurvy Past and Present

    Alfred Fabian Hess

  • Icterus, symptomatic of the affection, has not been observed.

  • As the gastric symptoms improve there is no change in the icterus, which continues for some days or weeks longer.

British Dictionary definitions for icterus


  1. pathol another name for jaundice
  2. a yellowing of plant leaves, caused by excessive cold or moisture
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Derived Formsicteric (ɪkˈtɛrɪk), adjective

Word Origin for icterus

C18: from Latin: yellow bird, the sight of which reputedly cured jaundice, from Greek ikteros
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 icterus


1706, medical Latin, from Greek ikteros "jaundice," also the name of a yellowish bird the sight of which was supposed, by sympathetic magic, to cure jaundice. As a zoological genus, from 1713.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

icterus in Medicine


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