ery·​sip·​e·​las ˌer-ə-ˈsi-p(ə-)ləs How to pronounce erysipelas (audio)
: an acute febrile disease associated with intense edematous local inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues caused by a hemolytic streptococcus

Examples of erysipelas in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2019, eight students could not be tripped up – not by Latin (cernuous: drooping), Greek (erysipelas: a type of disease), or French (aiguillette: a military shoulder cord) – and the bee ended in an eight-way tie. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 May 2023 On two consecutive occasions, the erysipelas infection killed the patients. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2016 Coley filled a syringe with living Streptococcus pyogenes, known to induce erysipelas attacks, and injected the solution directly into Zola’s tumor. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'erysipelas.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English erisipila, from Latin erysipelas, from Greek, from erysi- (probably akin to Greek erythros red) + -pelas (probably akin to Latin pellis skin) — more at red, fell

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of erysipelas was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near erysipelas

Cite this Entry

“Erysipelas.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


er·​y·​sip·​e·​las ˌer-ə-ˈsip-(ə-)ləs, ˌir- How to pronounce erysipelas (audio)
: an acute febrile disease that is associated with intense often vesicular and edematous local inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues and that is caused by a hemolytic streptococcus
: swine erysipelas
used especially when the disease affects hosts other than swine

More from Merriam-Webster on erysipelas

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!