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

More than one in 10 children - or 20 million worldwide - missed out last year on vaccines against life-threatening diseases such as measles, diphtheria and tetanus, the World Health Organization and the UNICEF children's fund said on Monday. NBC News, "20 million children worldwide miss out on life-saving vaccines, U.N. warns," 15 July 2019 Foreign Edition Podcast Foreign Edition Podcast Last November officials in Jilin province found that the Changsheng Biotechnology Co. falsified production data for a diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "China’s Vaccine Scandal," 27 July 2018 The tetanus vaccine is considered so vital that 576 million doses containing it (often along with diphtheria and pertussis) were administered from 2006 through 2017 — and 719 injury claims related to it were compensated, the data shows. New York Times, "Vaccine Injury Claims Are Few and Far Between," 18 June 2019 Aid workers took their time, therefore, even as diphtheria cases continued to soar. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019 The newcomers brought Western diseases — diphtheria and influenza, smallpox and tuberculosis — killing thousands of Alaska Natives. Kyle Hopkins, ProPublica, "ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network," 16 May 2019 Vaccinations have all but eradicated many diseases – from diphtheria to polio – but a new generation of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children is threatening the progress that’s been made, experts say. Laura Hancock, cleveland.com, "New Ohio bill takes shot at employers who want workers vaccinated," 3 June 2019 In a single heartbreaking sentence, Mr. Walsh closes his sad, final chapter with the fact that 16 months after Debussy’s death, his beloved daughter, Chouchou, died from diphtheria at the age of 13. Lloyd Schwartz, WSJ, "‘Debussy’ Review: An Ear for Beauty," 18 Oct. 2018 Cases of diphtheria — a disease that has now nearly vanished in the West but has made a comeback in the camps — could see a catastrophic surge as immunity declines. Vidhi Doshi, Washington Post, "‘Everything was destroyed’: Monsoon begins to take deadly toll on Rohingya camps in Bangladesh," 24 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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Statistics for diphtheria

Last Updated

1 Sep 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 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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