chicken pox


Definition of chicken pox

: an acute contagious disease especially of children marked by low-grade fever and formation of vesicles and caused by a herpesvirus (species Human herpesvirus 3 of the genus Varicellovirus) — compare shingles

Examples of chicken pox in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Notre Dame also requires immunizations for hepatitis B, meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus and chicken pox, according to a university news release. Carley Lanich, The Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame to require COVID-19 vaccination for fall 2021 enrollment," 7 Apr. 2021 After chicken pox infections, the virus lies dormant in the nervous system but can be reactivated later as a painful disease called shingles. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "'The one way I can protect them': Parents enroll kids in early COVID-19 vaccine trials," 24 Mar. 2021 The first vaccine for shingles, a painful skin infection caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, was later improved upon and no adverse effects were reported in people who took both versions. Peter Fimrite,, "Should you get the first coronavirus vaccine available? A 60-year-old scientific doctrine may have the answer," 23 Oct. 2020 Immunity lasts a lifetime for some viral diseases, such as chicken pox and measles, but wears off much earlier for others. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "Pandemic Year Two," 29 Dec. 2020 Many vaccines, including those for measles and chicken pox, work this way. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, "How Getting Vaccinated Will (and Won’t) Change My Behavior," 16 Dec. 2020 The first year and a half was marked by constant illness: her father, too, had malaria, as did siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles, while Omar contracted a serious case of chicken pox. Caroline Fraser, The New York Review of Books, "The Representative," 3 Nov. 2020 The same virus that causes chicken pox causes shingles. Courtney Schmidt,, "4 Vaccines You Should Consider if You (or a Loved One) Are Over 65," 14 Oct. 2020 Vaccine skeptics in particular have embraced this approach, in some cases trying to infect themselves deliberately in a strategy reminiscent of the chicken pox parties of yore. Author: Karen Kaplan, Anchorage Daily News, "A 25-year-old Nevada man got COVID-19 twice. It was worse the second time.," 13 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chicken pox.' 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 chicken pox

1691, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for chicken pox

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The first known use of chicken pox was in 1691

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Statistics for chicken pox

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chicken pox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for chicken pox

chicken pox


English Language Learners Definition of chicken pox

: a disease that often affects children and that causes a fever and red spots on the skin

chicken pox


Kids Definition of chicken pox

: a contagious illness especially of children in which there is fever and the skin breaks out in watery blisters

chicken pox


Medical Definition of chicken pox

: an acute contagious disease especially of children that is marked by low-grade fever and formation of vesicles and that is caused by a herpesvirus of the genus Varicellovirus (species Human herpesvirus 3)

called also varicella

— see shingles

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