diphtheria

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

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 \ -​ē-​əl \ adjective
diphtheritic \ ˌdif-​thə-​ˈri-​tik , nonstandard  ˌdip-​ \ adjective

Examples of diphtheria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The protest followed reports this month that hundreds of thousands of children across China had been injected with faulty vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. Javier C. Hernandez, The Seattle Times, "Faulty-vaccine scandal fuels rare public outburst in China," 30 July 2018 The firm also sold 252,600 doses of ineffective DPT vaccines to inoculate children against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. Fox News, "China says vaccine maker Changsheng broke manufacturing rules, faked records: Xinhua," 27 July 2018 In Venezuela there are at least three epidemics at work, measles, diphtheria and malaria. Luciana Magalhaes And Juan Forero, WSJ, "Venezuela’s Health Crisis Is Crossing the Border," 31 Oct. 2018 The squad has to transport a serum that will save children suffering from diphtheria. 13. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "18 Animated Movies to Binge-Watch on Netflix RN," 18 Aug. 2017 Doctors say cases of diseases once thought largely eradicated — malaria, diphtheria, measles and tuberculosis — are not only resurfacing but surging. Anthony Faiola And Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "Blackouts, hyperinflation, hunger: Maduro faces reelection as Venezuela deteriorates," 16 May 2018 Schools and day care centers usually require proof of such vaccines as TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and others. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Want to prevent your children from getting cancer? Doctors push HPV vaccine," 9 July 2018 Since being thrust into chaos, Venezuela has seen either a reemergence or a resurgence of other infectious diseases including diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles and malaria. Stefano Pozzebon And Susan Scutti, CNN, "Polio re-emerges in Venezuela nearly 30 years after eradication," 11 June 2018 In the 1920s, Aurora families struggled through a diphtheria epidemic and the 1930s brought the Great Depression across the country. Cathy Janek, Aurora Beacon-News, "Founded in Aurora, VNA Health Care celebrating its 100th anniversary," 11 June 2018

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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Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for diphtheria

The first known use of diphtheria was circa 1851

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More Definitions for diphtheria

diphtheria

noun

English Language Learners Definition of diphtheria

medical : a serious disease that makes breathing very difficult

diphtheria

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

Kids Definition of diphtheria

: a contagious disease that often makes breathing and swallowing difficult

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

Other Words from diphtheria

diphtherial \ -​ē-​əl \ 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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