• synonyms


  1. Also called herpes zoster. Pathology. shingles.
  2. Greek Antiquity. a belt or girdle.
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Origin of zoster

1595–1605; < Latin zōstēr < Greek zōstḗr girdle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for zoster

Historical Examples

  • Then it arrived with the zoster, or mailed belt, and the mitr, or mailed kirtle.

    The World of Homer

    Andrew Lang

  • Ionian poets interpolated their corslet, mitre, zoster, and greaves into passages of old lays that originally knew no such armour.

  • I was handed along all the way from alopecia, which used to be called baldness, to zoster, which used to be known as shingles.

    Over the Teacups

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

  • In some of these instances the pocks appear in clusters of successive formation, looking not unlike patches of zoster.

  • Shingles, shing′glz, n. popular name for the disease Herpes zoster.

British Dictionary definitions for zoster


  1. pathol short for herpes zoster
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Word Origin

C18: from Latin: shingles, from Greek zōster girdle
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 zoster


kind of seaweed, c.1600, Latin, from Greek zoster "girdle," from zonnynai (see zone (n.)). Meaning "shingles" is from 1706; in the literal sense, "a belt or girdle, especially for men," from 1824.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zoster in Medicine


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