Dictionary.com

patient zero

[ pey-shuhnt zeer-oh ]
/ ˈpeɪ ʃənt ˈzɪər oʊ /
Save This Word!

noun
Pathology. the first known carrier of infection in an outbreak: Public health officials are tracing all contacts of infected patients, trying to work their way back to find patient zero.See also index patient.
the person or thing that is believed to be the point of origin for any spreading effect, status, or event, especially if negative: One rowdy new student was patient zero for all kinds of classroom chaos and problem behaviors.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of patient zero

First recorded in 1985–90

Words nearby patient zero

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use patient zero in a sentence

FEEDBACK