communicable disease

noun
plural communicable diseases

Definition of communicable disease

: an infectious disease (such as cholera, hepatitis, influenza, malaria, measles, or tuberculosis) that is transmissible by contact with infected individuals or their bodily discharges or fluids (such as respiratory droplets, blood, or semen), by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, by ingestion of contaminated food or water, or by direct or indirect contact with disease vectors (such as mosquitoes, fleas, or mice)

Note: The terms communicable disease and contagious disease are often used interchangeably. However, communicable diseases such as malaria or schistosomiasis that are spread by contact with disease vectors are not typically considered to be "contagious" diseases since they cannot be spread from direct contact with another person.

First Known Use of communicable disease

1785, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about communicable disease

Time Traveler for communicable disease

Time Traveler

The first known use of communicable disease was in 1785

See more words from the same year

Statistics for communicable disease

Cite this Entry

“Communicable disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communicable%20disease. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for communicable disease

communicable disease

noun

Medical Definition of communicable disease

: an infectious disease (as cholera, hepatitis, influenza, malaria, measles, or tuberculosis) that is transmissible by contact with infected individuals or their bodily discharges or fluids (as respiratory droplets, blood, or semen), by contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, by ingestion of contaminated food or water, or by direct or indirect contact with disease vectors (as mosquitoes, fleas, or mice)

Note: The terms communicable disease and contagious disease are often used interchangeably. However, communicable diseases (as malaria or schistosomiasis) that are spread by contact with disease vectors are not typically considered to be "contagious" diseases since they cannot be spread from direct contact with another person.

Comments on communicable disease

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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