contagion

noun
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 New variants of the virus that scientists believe may be accelerating contagion are also deepening the uncertainty, as are questions about the effectiveness of the vaccine. New York Times, "At Rio’s Carnival, Vaccine Jabs Are In, Glitter and Samba Out," 16 Feb. 2021 Diseases are spreaders of not only contagion but custom. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, "The case for COVID courtesies on Presidents' Day," 14 Feb. 2021 But the Panic of 1893, which was caused in part by financial contagion from a crisis in Argentina, lead to a worldwide run on gold and a depletion of the U.S. Treasury’s gold reserves. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "From WallStreetBets to William Jennings Bryan: Why America’s financial populists love a good silver rally," 6 Feb. 2021 Gimmicky message services like Cameo treat goodwill as a friendly contagion, something anyone can catch and spread. Laurence Scott, Wired, "On the Capitalist Internet, Even Celebs Join the Gig Economy," 4 Feb. 2021 About $130 billion would be allocated to help schools reopen without risking further contagion. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "Biden unveils $1.9 trillion plan to combat coronavirus and improve economy. Here's what's included.," 15 Jan. 2021 About $130 billion would be allocated to help schools reopen without risking further contagion. Time, "Joe Biden Unveils a $1.9 Trillion Plan to Stem the Virus and Steady the Economy," 15 Jan. 2021 To minimize the risk of contagion, Aponte said that in-person classes will be held only two times a week and that students will be dismissed before noon, with parents barred from entering schools. DÁnica Coto, Star Tribune, "Puerto Rico prepares to reopen schools 1 year after pandemic," 8 Feb. 2021 Teachers are uncertain about when they will be vaccinated and fearful of contagion. New York Times, "Answers to All Your Questions About Getting Vaccinated for Covid-19," 27 Jan. 2021

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 contagioun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French contagiun, borrowed from Latin contāgiōn, contāgiō "contact, contact resulting in disease, infection, pollution," from contag-, variant stem of contingere "to be in contact with, arrive at, affect, fall to one's lot" + -iōn-, -iō, suffix of action nouns formed from compound verbs — more at contingent entry 1

Note: The vowel length in contāgiō is unexpected and difficult to explain; a similarly lengthened vowel is found in other deverbal derivatives with -ag- as a second member (compāgēs "bond, joint," from pangere, ambāgēs "circuitous path," from agere; see agent, pact).

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Time Traveler for contagion

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for contagion

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Contagion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contagion. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for contagion

contagion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of contagion

medical
: 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

contagion

noun
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

contagion

noun
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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