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

Other Words from diphtheria

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

Examples of diphtheria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These would include standard immunizations such as MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis). Dr. Michael Daignault, USA TODAY, 3 Aug. 2022 But la dolce vita was short lived: On the trip, two of their children died of diphtheria and Percy drowned in Tuscany. Adam H. Graham, WSJ, 17 May 2022 National coverage for the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) and chickenpox vaccines during the 2020-2021 school year fell to about 94 percent, under the 95 percent target. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 Neel’s daughter—her second, after a baby who died of diphtheria—grew up mostly in the care of those in-laws in Havana. Joanna Scutts, The New Republic, 20 June 2022 When Mother was eight years old, her mother died of diphtheria, and her tyrannical Grandmother Hall refused to sanction more than occasional visits from her father. James Roosevelt, Good Housekeeping, 5 May 2022 According to an official interview with Putin first published in 2000, his brother died of diphtheria after being evacuated to a shelter set up for children. Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2022 Putin's older brother Viktor died of diphtheria during the siege of Leningrad before Putin was born. Conor Finnegan, ABC News, 7 Mar. 2022 In 16 states, rates for kids entering kindergarten were at least 95 percent for measles shots and for the combination diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough shot. NBC News, 21 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near diphtheria

diphosphothiamine

diphtheria

diphtheroid

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Statistics for diphtheria

Last Updated

7 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Diphtheria.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diphtheria. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for diphtheria

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 diphtheria (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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