[tahy-fuh s]
noun Pathology.
  1. an acute, infectious disease caused by several species of Rickettsia, transmitted by lice and fleas, and characterized by acute prostration, headache, and a peculiar eruption of reddish spots on the body.

Origin of typhus

1635–45; < New Latin < Greek tŷphos vapor
Also called typhus fever.
Related formsty·phous, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for typhus-fever

Historical Examples of typhus-fever

  • His wife's got the typhus-fever, and he's up nights watching with her—won't let anybody else.


    Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

  • But she proves her sisterhood; her typhus-fever kills them: they actually were her brothers, though denying it!

    Past and Present

    Thomas Carlyle

  • All at once forty-five out of the eighty girls lay sick of typhus-fever.

    Emily Bront

    A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson

  • Not even in Black Dahomey was it ever, I think, forgotten to the typhus-fever length.

    Past and Present

    Thomas Carlyle

  • A very disagreeable odor is exhaled from the bodies of typhus-fever patients after the first week.

British Dictionary definitions for typhus-fever


  1. any one of a group of acute infectious rickettsial diseases characterized by high fever, skin rash, and severe headacheAlso called: typhus fever
Derived Formstyphous, adjective

Word Origin for typhus

C18: from New Latin tӯphus, from Greek tuphos fever; related to tuphein to smoke
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 typhus-fever



acute infectious fever, 1785, from Modern Latin (De Sauvages, 1759), from Greek typhos "stupor caused by fever," literally "smoke," from typhein "to smoke," related to typhos "blind," typhon "whirlwind," ultimately origin unknown. The disease so called from the prostration that it causes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

typhus-fever in Medicine


  1. Any of several forms of infectious disease caused by Rickettsia, especially those transmitted by fleas, lice, or mites, and characterized generally by severe headache, sustained high fever, depression, delirium, and the eruption of red rashes on the skin.camp fever prison fever
Related formstyphous (-fəs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

typhus-fever in Science


  1. Any of several forms of an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the genus Rickettsia transmitted by fleas, mites, or especially lice, and characterized by severe headache, high fever, and skin rash. Louse-born bacteria that cause typhus are especially virulent and can cause epidemics of the disease, which may be fatal in people with weakened immune systems.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

typhus-fever in Culture



A group of acute and contagious diseases, often fatal, marked by severe headaches and high fever. Typhus is transmitted to humans by fleas, lice, or mites that are infected with the microorganism that causes the disease.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.