diphtheria

noun
diph·​the·​ria | \ dif-ˈthir-ē-ə How to pronounce diphtheria (audio) , nonstandard dip- How to pronounce diphtheria (audio) \

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

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Other Words from diphtheria

diphtherial \ dif-​ˈthir-​ē-​əl How to pronounce diphtherial (audio) , nonstandard  dip-​ \ adjective
diphtheritic \ ˌdif-​thə-​ˈri-​tik How to pronounce diphtheritic (audio) , nonstandard  ˌdip-​ \ adjective

Examples of diphtheria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The average private-sector non-influenza vaccine for adults ranges from about $26 for Grifols' tetanus and diphtheria toxoids inoculation to $228 for Merck's Human papillomavirus inoculation, according to the CDC. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Could a coronavirus vaccine rehab the pharmaceutical industry's reputation despite drug price increases?," 9 July 2020 As a child, Meyer had contracted diphtheria and meningitis, and raging fevers damaged his brain. Washington Post, "After waves of virus deaths, care homes face legal reckoning," 26 June 2020 The DTaP vaccine, which prevents three deadly diseases, tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, is given in five doses. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "A coronavirus vaccine could require you to get two shots. Here's why.," 4 June 2020 Vaccinations against diphtheria and pertussis were down 42%, for the human papillomavirus down 73%. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Five lessons from the coronavirus pandemic about your child's immunizations," 16 June 2020 Other diseases include mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, also known as whooping cough. USA TODAY, "Park changes, social-distancing lifeguards, pear plant outbreak: News from around our 50 states," 2 June 2020 After the 1946 quarantine, Pan American World Airways ran advertisements in the Times praising themselves for delivering diphtheria serum. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "Scarlet fever, diptheria, polio: How the 1918-19 influenza pandemic shaped the way Alaskans faced other outbreaks," 11 May 2020 The group has set up field hospitals in wartime Mosul, Iraq; after an earthquake in Ecuador; following a hurricane in the Bahamas; and during a diphtheria outbreak in Bangladesh, among others. Sheri Fink, New York Times, "Treating Coronavirus in a Central Park ‘Hot Zone’," 15 Apr. 2020 For the pioneering work of the first treatment using therapeutic serum in 1891 (against diphtheria), Emil von Behring later earned the Nobel Prize in medicine. Ann Sheehy, The Conversation, "Antibodies in the blood of COVID-19 survivors know how to beat coronavirus – and researchers are already testing new treatments that harness them," 1 Apr. 2020

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

circa 1851, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for diphtheria

New Latin, from French diphthérie, from Greek diphthera leather; from the toughness of the false membrane

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Time Traveler for diphtheria

Time Traveler

The first known use of diphtheria was circa 1851

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Statistics for diphtheria

Last Updated

20 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Diphtheria.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diphtheria. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for diphtheria

diphtheria

noun
How to pronounce diphtheria (audio) How to pronounce diphtheria (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of diphtheria

medical : a serious disease that makes breathing very difficult

diphtheria

noun
diph·​the·​ria | \ dif-ˈthir-ē-ə How to pronounce diphtheria (audio) , dip- \

Kids Definition of diphtheria

: a contagious disease that often makes breathing and swallowing difficult

diphtheria

noun
diph·​the·​ria | \ dif-ˈthir-ē-ə How to pronounce diphtheria (audio) , dip- How to pronounce diphtheria (audio) \

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

Other Words from diphtheria

diphtherial \ -​ē-​əl How to pronounce diphtherial (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on diphtheria

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diphtheria

Spanish Central: Translation of diphtheria

Nglish: Translation of diphtheria for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diphtheria for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diphtheria

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