diphtheria

noun diph·the·ria \ dif-ˈthir-ē-ə , nonstandard dip- \
Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

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

diphtherial

play \-ē-əl\ adjective

diphtheritic

play \ˌdif-thə-ˈri-tik, nonstandard ˌdip-\ adjective

Recent Examples of diphtheria from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of diphtheria

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


DIPHTHERIA Defined for English Language Learners

diphtheria

noun

Definition of diphtheria for English Language Learners

  • medical : a serious disease that makes breathing very difficult


DIPHTHERIA Defined for Kids

diphtheria

noun diph·the·ria \ dif-ˈthir-ē-ə , dip- \

Definition of diphtheria for Students

: a contagious disease that often makes breathing and swallowing difficult

Medical Dictionary

diphtheria

noun diph·the·ria \ dif-ˈthir-ē-ə , dip- \

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

diphtherial

play \-ē-əl\ adjective


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allowing a liquid or gas to pass through

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