contagious disease

noun
plural contagious diseases

Definition of contagious disease

: an infectious disease (such as influenza, measles, or tuberculosis) that is transmitted by contact with an infected individual or infected bodily discharges or fluids (such as respiratory droplets), by contact with a contaminated surface or object, or by ingestion of contaminated food or water

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

First Known Use of contagious disease

1529, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contagious disease

Time Traveler for contagious disease

Time Traveler

The first known use of contagious disease was in 1529

See more words from the same year

Statistics for contagious disease

Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Contagious disease.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contagious%20disease. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for contagious disease

contagious disease

noun

Medical Definition of contagious disease

: an infectious disease (as influenza, measles, or tuberculosis) that is transmitted by contact with an infected individual or infected bodily discharges or fluids (as respiratory droplets), by contact with a contaminated surface or object, or by ingestion of contaminated food or water

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

More from Merriam-Webster on contagious disease

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for contagious disease

Comments on contagious disease

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!