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 Untreated bubonic plague can turn into the more serious pneumonic plague, which causes rapidly developing pneumonia after bacteria spread to the lungs. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Plague-infected prairie dogs have shut down parts of a Denver suburb," 17 Aug. 2019 The sixth century was a rough time to be alive: Lower-than-average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere triggered crop failure, famine, and maybe even the onset of bubonic plague. Katherine Kornei, Science | AAAS, "‘Mystery’ volcano that cooled the ancient world traced to El Salvador," 16 Aug. 2019 The concern was that fleas could transmit the bacterial infection to humans, causing the bubonic plague. La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: Once upon a time you could fish at Devil’s Gate Dam," 12 Aug. 2019 Bacterium responsible for sylvatic plague, which is also known as bubonic plague when the disease infects people, can be transmitted to humans by rodents and their fleas, a news release on Thursday said. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Open space near DIA closed due to proximity to plague-infested prairie dogs," 8 Aug. 2019 It was even linked to an increase in shark attacks off the coast of Oregon and a spike in bubonic plague in New Mexico. John D'anna, azcentral, "For a while in 1983, sheets of plywood were all that kept the mighty Glen Canyon Dam from overflowing," 18 July 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of bubonic plague

1803, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bubonic plague

Statistics for bubonic plague

Time Traveler for bubonic plague

The first known use of bubonic plague was in 1803

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bubonic plague

What made you want to look up bubonic plague? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!