[tur-shuh n]


Pathology. (of a malarial fever, etc.) characterized by paroxysms that recur every other day.


Pathology. a tertian fever.
a Jesuit during the period of tertianship.

Origin of tertian

1325–75; Middle English terciane < Latin (febris) tertiāna tertian (fever), equivalent to terti(us) third + -āna, feminine of -ānus -an
Related formssub·ter·tian, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tertian

triennial, tertiary, tertian

Examples from the Web for tertian

Historical Examples of tertian

British Dictionary definitions for tertian



(of a fever or the symptoms of a disease, esp malaria) occurring every other day


a tertian fever or symptoms

Word Origin for tertian

C14: from Latin febris tertiāna fever occurring every third day, reckoned inclusively, from tertius third
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

tertian in Medicine




Recurring every other day or, when considered inclusively, every third day. Used of a fever.


A tertian fever.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.