con·​ta·​gion | \ kən-ˈtā-jən How to pronounce contagion (audio) \

Definition of contagion

1a : a contagious disease
b : the transmission of a disease by direct or indirect contact
c : a disease-producing agent (such as a virus)
2a : poison
b : contagious influence, quality, or nature
c : corrupting influence or contact
3a : rapid communication of an influence (such as a doctrine or emotional state)
b : an influence that spreads rapidly

Examples of contagion in a Sentence

a disease that spreads by contagion People have been warned to keep out of the area to avoid contagion.

Recent Examples on the Web

The contagion of white supremacy has been here a long time. Michael Bradley, National Geographic, "‘This isn’t us? Oh but it is.’ New Zealand grapples with its history," 19 Mar. 2019 The season 10 finale also had the agents trying to stop a global contagion from wiping out the majority of the population; the season eleven premiere revealed that was Scully's shared premonition with her MIA son, William about what was to come. Marisa Roffman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The X-Files' Finale: Can William Survive His Reunion With Mulder and Scully?," 8 Mar. 2018 Around the globe, fears of contagion in emerging markets and ongoing trade tensions have helped push Asian and European stocks lower this week, with most major indexes set to close with a weekly loss. Ben St. Clair, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Slump on Fears of New China Tariffs," 7 Sep. 2018 Several factors so far have helped to prevent problems in individual emerging markets like Pakistan and Turkey from turning into a global contagion. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "As Pakistan Starts Talks, Emerging Markets Look to Contain Damage," 8 Oct. 2018 Like other social contagions, such as cutting and bulimia, ROGD overwhelmingly afflicts girls. Abigail Shrier, WSJ, "When Your Daughter Defies Biology," 6 Jan. 2019 Visit Site Don’t expect the Sears failure to be a contagion threatening to infect the rest of retail. Gerald Porter Jr., The Seattle Times, "Sears files for bankruptcy just as things are looking up for U.S. retail," 15 Oct. 2018 But the event yesterday started the spread of a different kind of contagion: worry. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "CDC investigates two more flights that landed with coughing passengers," 6 Sep. 2018 And knowing where the Salmonella is coming from is key to curbing the contagion, or preventing it in the first place. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Machine learning could help figure out what pooped on your produce," 12 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for contagion

Middle English, from Latin contagion-, contagio, from contingere to have contact with, pollute — more at contingent

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Statistics for contagion

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for contagion

The first known use of contagion was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of contagion

: the process by which a disease is passed from one person or animal to another by touching
: a disease that can be passed from one person or animal to another by touching : a contagious disease


con·​ta·​gion | \ kən-ˈtā-jən How to pronounce contagion (audio) \

Kids Definition of contagion

1 : the passing of a disease from one individual to another as a result of some contact between them
2 : a contagious disease


con·​ta·​gion | \ kən-ˈtā-jən How to pronounce contagion (audio) \

Medical Definition of contagion

1 : the transmission of a disease by direct or indirect contact
3 : a disease-producing agent (as a virus)

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More from Merriam-Webster on contagion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with contagion

Spanish Central: Translation of contagion

Nglish: Translation of contagion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contagion for Arabic Speakers

Comments on contagion

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


to take the place or position of

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