bubonic plague


Definition of bubonic plague

: plague caused by a bacterium (Yersinia pestis) and characterized especially by the formation of buboes

Examples of bubonic plague in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

All reintroduction programs run into problems, but black ferrets have faced one whopper of a problem: the bubonic plague. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "How to save a species (if you really want to)," 21 Nov. 2018 Yersinia pestis, the subject of her research, is the bacterium responsible for three bubonic plague pandemics over human history. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "Medieval European plague genomes hint at Black Death’s travels," 5 Dec. 2018 Last year, a bubonic plague outbreak hit Madagascar, killing over 200 people. Billy Perrigo, Time, "A Boy Contracted the First Case of Bubonic Plague Idaho Has Seen in 26 Years," 14 June 2018 Adding to the gloom, an outbreak of bubonic plague spread throughout the Eastern Roman Empire in 542 A.D., killing droves and giving way to an economic downturn that lasted 30 years. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Identify 536 A.D. as The Absolute Worst Year Ever," 20 Nov. 2018 An outbreak of bubonic plague coincides with a piercing cold snap. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Researchers Identify 536 A.D. as The Absolute Worst Year Ever," 20 Nov. 2018 Pandemics have recurred throughout history with devastating consequences, from the bubonic plague in the Middle Ages to the Spanish flu a century ago to HIV/AIDS in our own lifetimes. Ron Klain, Vox, "A pandemic killing tens of millions of people is a real possibility — and we are not prepared for it," 15 Oct. 2018 In the Middle Ages, the Little Garden Club of the Dardanelles actually imported bubonic plague to discourage pilgrims from stopping by picture-perfect Constantinople on their way to the Holy Land, before things got out of control. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Skip the Selfie and Run: Busy Locales Get Tough With Tourists," 31 May 2018 So while most of us aren’t worried about demons, momentary death or the bubonic plague, today it’s considered a polite gesture. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "The Crazy Reasons Why We Say, “Bless You” When Someone Sneezes," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bubonic plague.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bubonic plague

1803, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bubonic plague was in 1803

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More Definitions for bubonic plague

bubonic plague


English Language Learners Definition of bubonic plague

: a very serious disease that is spread especially by rats and that killed many people in the Middle Ages

bubonic plague

bu·​bon·​ic plague | \ bü-ˈbä-nik, byü-\

Kids Definition of bubonic plague

: a dangerous disease which is spread by rats and in which fever, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes are present

bubonic plague


Medical Definition of bubonic plague

: plague caused by a bacterium of the genus Yersinia (Y. pestis synonym Pasteurella pestis) and characterized especially by the formation of buboes — compare pneumonic plague

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