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pinkeye

or pink eye

[ pingk-ahy ]

noun

, Pathology.
  1. a contagious form of acute conjunctivitis occurring in humans and certain animals: so called from the color of the inflamed eye.


pinkeye

/ ˈpɪŋkˌaɪ /

noun

  1. Also calledacute conjunctivitis an acute contagious inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye, characterized by redness, discharge, etc: usually caused by bacterial infection
  2. Also calledinfectious keratitis a similar condition affecting the cornea of horses and cattle


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Word History and Origins

Origin of pinkeye1

First recorded in 1785–95; pink 1 + eye

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Word History and Origins

Origin of pinkeye1

C16: partial translation of obsolete Dutch pinck oogen small eyes

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Example Sentences

Hachimura also missed the first four games of the season with pinkeye.

Hachimura missed two weeks at the start of the season for pinkeye before he missed time because of the team’s coronavirus outbreak.

The technology uses an adenovirus, from the family of viruses that cause pinkeye, as a sort of Trojan horse to deliver SARS-CoV-2 protein to the immune system.

Forward Rui Hachimura made his return a week ahead of schedule after missing two weeks with pinkeye.

Bob Costas has a case of mild pinkeye at the Sochi Olympics.

So given his sangfroid ‎it is likely that Mr. Costas has old-fashioned pinkeye.

Or perhaps he caught a mild viral form of pinkeye—medically known as conjunctivitis.

It's also the site where Vinny nearly contracted pinkeye and where most major romantic eruptions occurred.

All's well with the John Grier—except for a broken tooth, a sprained wrist, a badly scratched knee, and one case of pinkeye.

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More About Pinkeye

What is pinkeye?

Pinkeye is the common name for conjunctivitis and occasionally used as a slang term for other things.

Pinkeye is often spelled as two words: pink eye.

Where did the term pinkeye come from?

Pinkeye is a familiar name for conjunctivitis, or the inflammation of the conjunctiva (the membrane covering the eyes and lining the eyelids). It is a common viral or bacterial infection, affecting 3–6 million people in the U.S. alone each year. The name stems from the way the condition makes the eye look pink or red along with other symptoms of itchiness, watering, and swelling.

While pinkeye typically cures itself, antibiotics are sometimes necessary. It is often contagious, except when caused by allergens, passed directly from a person or from contaminated objects.

One common myth, popularized by the 2007 Seth Rogen comedy Knocked Up, claims that pinkeye is spread from fecal bacteria left on pillows from flatulence. Related myths include that the infection results from eye contact with the anus or semen during sex. The infection, rather, is principally caused by rubbing the eyes with hands carrying a certain virus or bacteria.

Occasional and unrelated senses of pinkeye include slang terms for “vagina” and “cheap red wine.” The “vagina” slang has been recorded since at least the early 1990s based on anatomical observations. The “wine” sense, extending to a “heavy drinker” or “binge-drinking,” dates back to Australian slang from the early 1900s into the 1970s.

How to use the term pinkeye

While the formal name may be conjunctivitis, many medical professionals refer to the condition as pinkeye. The term is also familiar to parents of and educational professionals working with school-aged children, who are instructed to stay home from school due to contagious pinkeye.

Pinkeye is also colloquially mentioned in contexts of vulgar humor (e.g., I’m gonna fart on your pillow and give you pinkeye).

More examples of pinkeye

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released prevention, diagnosis, and treatment tips for pink eye.”
—Madeline Morr, The Clinical Advisor, April 2018

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

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