dys·​en·​tery | \ ˈdi-sᵊn-ˌter-ē How to pronounce dysentery (audio) , -ˌte-rē \
plural dysenteries

Definition of dysentery

1 : a disease characterized by severe diarrhea with passage of mucus and blood and usually caused by infection

Examples of dysentery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This creeping sickness looked a lot like natural illness, especially since the usual symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea, were easily mistaken for cholera, dysentery, and other common diseases of the time. Meg Neal, Popular Mechanics, "Nature's Toxic Gifts: The Deadly Story of Poison," 4 Oct. 2020 Lack of sanitation, overcrowding, exposure, the tropical climate and heavy drinking led to epidemics of dysentery, yellow fever and cholera. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "Getting to S.F. the hard way: Gold Rush trip through Panama could be fatal," 2 Oct. 2020 The company claims that the sanitation process helps protect users from risks, such as botulism, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and more. Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "The 13 best deals from REI's massive Labor Day Sale—shop The North Face, Deuter and more," 28 Aug. 2020 This may explain a curious detail of a therapy now being used as a treatment of last resort against Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that causes life-threatening dysentery. The Economist, "The viral universe Viruses have big impacts on ecology and evolution as well as human health," 20 Aug. 2020 Crusades failed spectacularly, with the king captured by the Egyptians and ransomed for an enormous sum in 1250 and dying of dysentery almost immediately upon arriving in Tunisia in 1270. Matthew Gabriele And David Perry, Smithsonian Magazine, "In St. Louis, History and Nostalgia Battle It Out," 9 July 2020 In the early stages of the 1918 pandemic, health officials who had been making inroads against earlier scourges — malaria, dysentery, scarlet fever, whooping cough — openly expressed confidence about conquering the new flu. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "People balked at masks in 1918, too. Then the arrests started," 15 Aug. 2020 During her first winter at Scutari, 4,077 soldiers died—ten times more from typhus, cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery than from battle wounds. Tina Hillier, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Defiance of Florence Nightingale," 10 Mar. 2020 Before departing on a journey through Borneo’s remote Batu Tiban mountains, the naturalist O’Hanlon tallies his fears, among them dysentery, leeches, man-eating crocodiles and 1,700 kinds of parasitic worms. Jen Rose Smith, Washington Post, "These epic travel disasters will take the edge off your wanderlust," 10 July 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dysentery

Middle English dissenterie, borrowed from Latin dysenteria (Medieval Latin desintiria, dissenteria), borrowed from Greek dysentería, from dys- dys- + éntera (neuter plural) "intestines" + -ia -ia entry 1 — more at inter-

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Time Traveler for dysentery

Time Traveler

The first known use of dysentery was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

9 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dysentery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dysentery. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for dysentery


How to pronounce dysentery (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dysentery

medical : a serious disease that causes severe diarrhea and a loss of blood


dys·​en·​tery | \ ˈdi-sᵊn-ˌter-ē How to pronounce dysentery (audio) \

Kids Definition of dysentery

: a disease marked especially by severe often bloody diarrhea


dys·​en·​tery | \ ˈdis-ᵊn-ˌter-ē How to pronounce dysentery (audio) \
plural dysenteries

Medical Definition of dysentery

1 : a disease characterized by severe diarrhea with passage of mucus and blood and usually caused by infection

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