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measles

[ mee-zuhlz ]
/ ˈmi zəlz /
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noun
(used with a singular or plural verb)Pathology.
  1. an acute infectious disease occurring mostly in children, characterized by catarrhal and febrile symptoms and an eruption of small red spots; rubeola.
  2. any of certain other eruptive diseases.Compare German measles.
Veterinary Pathology. a disease in swine and other animals caused by the larvae of certain tapeworms of the genus Taenia.
(used with a plural verb) the larvae that cause measles in swine and other animals, and that upon maturation produce trichinosis in humans.
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Origin of measles

1275–1325; Middle English mesels, variant of maseles (plural); cognate with Dutch maselen (plural), Middle Dutch masel; akin to German Masern measles, plural of Maser speck
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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British Dictionary definitions for measles

measles
/ (ˈmiːzəlz) /

noun (functioning as singular or plural)
a highly contagious viral disease common in children, characterized by fever, profuse nasal discharge of mucus, conjunctivitis, and a rash of small red spots spreading from the forehead down to the limbsTechnical names: morbilli, rubeola See also German measles
a disease of cattle, sheep, and pigs, caused by infestation with tapeworm larvae

Word Origin for measles

C14: from Middle Low German masele spot on the skin; influenced by Middle English mesel leper, from Latin misellus, diminutive of miser wretched
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 measles

measles
[ mēzəlz ]

An infectious disease caused by the rubeola virus of the genus Morbillivirus, characterized by fever, cough, and a rash that begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. Vaccinations, usually given in early childhood, confer immunity to measles. Also called rubeola
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for measles

measles

An acute and contagious disease caused by a virus and characterized by the outbreak of small red spots on the skin. Measles occurs most often in school-age children. (Compare German measles.)

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.
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