Simple Definition of syphilis
medical : a very serious disease that is spread through sexual intercourse
Full Definition of syphilis
: a chronic contagious usually venereal and often congenital disease caused by a spirochete (Treponema pallidum) and if left untreated producing chancres, rashes, and systemic lesions in a clinical course with three stages continued over many years — compare primary syphilis, secondary syphilis, tertiary syphilis
Origin of syphilis
New Latin, from Syphilus, hero of the poem Syphilis sive Morbus Gallicus (Syphilis or the French disease) (1530) by Girolamo Fracastoro †1553 Italian poet and physician
First Known Use: 1718
Medical Definition of syphilis
: a chronic contagious usually venereal and often congenital disease that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Treponema (T. pallidum) and if left untreated produces chancres, rashes, and systemic lesions in a clinical course with three stages continued over many years—called also lues; see primary syphilis, secondary syphilis, tertiary syphilis
Biographical Note for syphilis
Syph·i·lus \ˈsif-ə-ləs\ literary character. Syphilus is the hero of the 1530 Latin poem “Syphilis or the French Disease,” which was written by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro. Syphilus is a swineherd who blasphemes a sun god and as a punishment is afflicted with a disease.
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