cowpox

noun
cow·​pox | \ ˈkau̇-ˌpäks How to pronounce cowpox (audio) \

Definition of cowpox

: a mild eruptive disease of the cow that is caused by a poxvirus (species Cowpox virus of the genus Orthopoxvirus) and that when communicated to humans protects against smallpox

Examples of cowpox in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner inoculated 8-year-old James Phipps against smallpox by using cowpox matter. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 14 May 2020 The vaccine was developed in the late 18th century by physician Edward Jenner, who aimed to put a piece of folklore to the test: that milkmaids seemed to contract a milder form of the disease, called cowpox. Robert Kuznia, CNN, "Thousands of people want to be exposed to Covid-19 for science," 13 May 2020 But as far back as the first vaccine in 1796, when Edward Jenner proved that giving cowpox to an 8-year-old boy protected him from injections with the deadly smallpox virus, the approach has raised concerns. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Speed coronavirus vaccine testing by deliberately infecting volunteers? Not so fast, some scientists warn," 31 Mar. 2020 Vaccination could cause blood poisoning; this was not intuitive in the age before germ theory but is no surprise to us today, as cowpox pus was harvested under far from sterile conditions and often harboured farmyard bacteria. The Economist, "The original anti-vaxxers," 30 Aug. 2019 Jesty vaccinated his wife and two sons with pus from a cowpox lesion, using his wife’s knitting needle. William F. Bynum, WSJ, "‘Between Hope and Fear’ Review: Anxieties Immune to Reason," 16 Aug. 2018 The first real vaccine was one against smallpox, made by Edward Jenner in 1796 from a related virus, cowpox. NBC News, "Now there's a drug to treat smallpox, just in case," 13 July 2018 This led the scientist Edward Jenner to try intentionally infecting a boy with cowpox as a prospective treatment. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "The Man Who Says Science Blew Its Best Shot at an AIDS Vaccine," 1 June 2018 In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner inoculated James Phipps, 8, against smallpox by using cowpox matter. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 14 May 2018

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

1798, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cowpox was in 1798

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Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cowpox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cowpox. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for cowpox

cowpox

noun
cow·​pox | \ ˈkau̇-ˌpäks How to pronounce cowpox (audio) \

Medical Definition of cowpox

: a mild eruptive disease of the cow that is caused by a poxvirus of the genus Orthopoxvirus (species Cowpox virus) and that when communicated to humans protects against smallpox

called also variola vaccinia

More from Merriam-Webster on cowpox

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cowpox

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cowpox

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