- Veterinary Pathology. any of various diseases of cattle, as anthrax, foot-and-mouth disease, and Texas fever.
- Obsolete. a plague or pestilence.
Origin of murrain
1300–50; Middle English moreine, moryne < Middle French morine a plague, equivalent to mor(ir) to die (≪ Latin morī) + -ine -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for murrain
May the murrain strike me if I can call to mind aught about her.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
When your sheep died of the murrain you hung up their hides to dry—in the schoolhouse.The Day of Wrath
Some of them fell a prey to wild beasts—some died of the murrain.The Bush Boys
Captain Mayne Reid
There would have been above 3,000, had it not been for the murrain that was here.'History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Appendix
Disease had attacked the inhabitants of the hamlet, a murrain their cattle.Castes and Tribes of Southern India
- any plaguelike disease in cattle
- a plague
C14: from Old French morine, from morir to die, from Latin morī
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 murrain
"cattle plague," early 14c., from Anglo-French moryn, Old French moraine "pestilence" (12c.), probably from mourir "to die," from Latin mori (see mortal (adj.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper