noun Pathology.

a disease characterized by multiple skin pustules, as smallpox.
Also called soil rot. Plant Pathology. a disease of sweet potatoes, characterized by numerous pitlike lesions on the roots, caused by a fungus, Streptomyces ipomoea.
(used as an interjection to express distaste, rejection, aversion, etc.): A pox on you and your bright ideas!

Origin of pox

1540–50 (earlier as surname); spelling variant of pocks, plural of pock
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for pox

herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, STD, VD, crabs

Examples from the Web for pox

Contemporary Examples of pox

Historical Examples of pox

  • Mebbe the best thing I could do would be to take the pox and go under.

  • The pox only converts them, and that only when it kills them.

  • A pox o your throat, you bawling, blasphemous, incharitable dog!

    The Tempest

    William Shakespeare

  • I little thought, fool that I was, that he would get this pox.

    Richard Carvel, Complete

    Winston Churchill

  • Pox take the Tailors for making the Fobs so deep and narrow!

British Dictionary definitions for pox



any disease characterized by the formation of pustules on the skin that often leave pockmarks when healed
the pox an informal name for syphilis
a pox on someone (interjection) archaic an expression of intense disgust or aversion for someone

Word Origin for pox

C15: changed from pocks, plural of pock
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 pox

late 15c., spelling alteration of pockes, plural of pocke (see pock (n.)). Especially (after c.1500) of syphilis.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pox in Medicine




A disease such as chickenpox or smallpox, characterized by purulent skin eruptions that may leave pockmarks.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.