common cold

noun

Definition of common cold 

: an acute disease of the upper respiratory tract that is marked by inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, eyes, and eustachian tubes and by a watery then purulent discharge and is caused by any of several viruses (such as a rhinovirus or an adenovirus)

Examples of common cold in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, the most common cause of tonsillitis is a viral infection, which could be anything from the common cold to the Epstein-Barr virus. Claire Gillespie, SELF, "Gabourey Sidibe Is Getting Her Tonsils Out—Here's What That's Like as an Adult," 18 Jan. 2018 Coinfection with the common cold has proved difficult to study in the past because of the large number of viruses that can cause a cold. Richard Klasco, M.d., New York Times, "Can You Get Two Colds at Once?," 30 Mar. 2018 It is believed the pathogen spread in the water — almost like a common cold — among the dense, often interwoven, populations of starfish. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Starfish on California coast, nearly wiped out by mystery illness, make stunning recovery," 22 June 2018 For example, many patients insist on receiving the treatment for the common cold, even those most of these infections come from viruses. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The CDC Has Detected Rare "Nightmare Bacteria" in 27 States," 6 Apr. 2018 Studies have shown that hugs can reduce stress and blood pressure and can even help stave off symptoms of the common cold. Sarah Cahlan /, NBC News, "Why scientists are teaching this robot to hug," 11 June 2018 The flu is more contagious than the common cold and is caused by influenza viruses. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Is it just a cold or do you have the flu? Experts note the differences," 12 Jan. 2018 One of those families is the picornavirus family, which is tied to the common cold, but also febrile illness, encephalitis, and a type of hepatitis. Megha Satyanarayana, STAT, "Drones are helping researchers figure out what viruses live in whales. Some are similar to ones in humans," 11 June 2018 The sharp decline in population wasn't just due to violent deaths, but also diseases brought by the Europeans, including the common cold, flu, measles, venereal diseases, tuberculosis and smallpox. Aaron Smith, CNN, "The 'forgotten people': When death came to the Torres Strait," 25 May 2018

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

1770, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for common cold

The first known use of common cold was in 1770

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More Definitions for common cold

common cold

noun

Kids Definition of common cold

: a contagious illness which causes the lining of the nose and throat to be sore, swollen, and red and in which there is usually much mucus and coughing and sneezing

common cold

noun

Medical Definition of common cold 

: an acute contagious disease of the upper respiratory tract that is marked by inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, eyes, and eustachian tubes with a watery then purulent discharge and is caused by any of several viruses (as a rhinovirus or an adenovirus)

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