king's evil


scrofula: so called because it was supposed to be curable by the touch of the reigning sovereign.

Nearby words

  1. king's color,
  2. king's counsel,
  3. king's crown,
  4. king's english,
  5. king's evidence,
  6. king's highway,
  7. king's lynn,
  8. king's mark,
  9. king's men,
  10. king's pattern

Origin of king's evil

1350–1400; Middle English kynges evel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for king's evil

king's evil


the king's evil pathol a former name for scrofula

Word Origin for king's evil

C14: from the belief that the king's touch would heal scrofula

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 king's evil

king's evil


"scrofula," late 14c., translates Medieval Latin regius morbus; so called because the kings of England and France claimed to heal it by their touch. In England, the custom dates from Edward the Confessor and was continued through the Stuarts (Charles II touched 90,798 sufferers) but was ended by the Hanoverians (1714).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper