Definition of diphtheria
: an acute febrile contagious disease typically marked by the formation of a false membrane especially in the throat and caused by a gram-positive bacterium (Corynebacterium diphtheriae) that produces a toxin causing inflammation of the heart and nervous system
diphtherialplay \-ē-əl\ adjective
diphtheriticplay \ˌdif-thə-ˈri-tik, ÷ˌdip-\ adjective
Recent Examples of diphtheria from the Web
But there’s more: a planetarium, a moon rock, and Balto, the Siberian husky that helped contain a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska, in 1925.
The race commemorates the heroism of sled dog mushers who, against the odds, delivered serum from Anchorage to Nome during a diphtheria epidemic.
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Origin and Etymology of diphtheria
New Latin, from French diphthérie, from Greek diphthera leather; from the toughness of the false membrane
First Known Use: circa 1851
DIPHTHERIA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of diphtheria for English Language Learners
medical : a serious disease that makes breathing very difficult
DIPHTHERIA Defined for Kids
Definition of diphtheria for Students
: a contagious disease that often makes breathing and swallowing difficult
Medical Definition of diphtheria
: an acute febrile contagious disease typically marked by the formation of a false membrane especially in the throat and caused by a bacterium of the genus Corynebacterium (C. diphtheriae) which produces a toxin causing inflammation of the heart and nervous system
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