common cold


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

Felipe was taken with his father to a hospital in Alamogordo, New Mexico, where he was diagnosed with a common cold, according to the timeline. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "Medical checks ordered after 2nd child immigrant dies," 26 Dec. 2018 Hospital staff tested the boy for strep, diagnosed him with a common cold and gave him Tylenol, the timeline said. Dan Frosch, WSJ, "Homeland Security Steps Up Medical Services for Migrants After Two Children Die," 26 Dec. 2018 And Wade knew that if baby Luca caught any kind of virus — even a common cold — the illness could trigger dangerous seizures. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "A Kirkland mother’s anguished phone call brings help she never imagined," 9 Dec. 2018 Children's Advil is most commonly used to reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pains from conditions like the common cold, flu, sore throat, headaches, and toothaches. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Check If Your Children’s Advil Was Recalled," 28 Aug. 2018 Olivia Paregol, 18, died after contracting a form of adenovirus, a common virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates can cause a range of symptoms similar to those caused by the common cold. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "A University of Maryland Student Died After Contracting Adenovirus," 21 Nov. 2018 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,, "Starfish on California coast, nearly wiped out by mystery illness, make stunning recovery," 22 June 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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Statistics for common cold

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

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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


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


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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More from Merriam-Webster on common cold

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with common cold

Spanish Central: Translation of common cold

Nglish: Translation of common cold for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about common cold

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