Simple Definition of febrile
medical : including or caused by fever
Full Definition of febrile
: marked or caused by fever : feverish
Did You Know?
Not too surprisingly, febrile originated in the field of medicine. We note its first use in the work of the 17th-century medical reformer Noah Biggs. Biggs used it in admonishing physicians to care for their "febrile patients" properly. Both feverish and febrile are from the Latin word for fever, which is febris. Nowadays, febrile is used in medicine in a variety of ways, including references to such things as "the febrile phase" of an illness. And, like feverish, it also has an extended sense, as in "a febrile emotional state."
Origin of febrile
Medieval Latin febrilis, from Latin febris fever
First Known Use: 1651
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