ery·​sip·​e·​las | \ ˌer-ə-ˈsi-p(ə-)ləs How to pronounce erysipelas (audio) , ˌir- \

Definition of erysipelas

: an acute febrile disease associated with intense edematous local inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissues caused by a hemolytic streptococcus

First Known Use of erysipelas

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for erysipelas

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about erysipelas

Time Traveler for erysipelas

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for erysipelas

Cite this Entry

“Erysipelas.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for erysipelas


er·​y·​sip·​e·​las | \ ˌer-ə-ˈsip-(ə-)ləs, ˌir- How to pronounce erysipelas (audio) \

Medical Definition of erysipelas

1 : 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
2 : swine erysipelas used especially when the disease affects hosts other than swine

More from Merriam-Webster on erysipelas Encyclopedia article about erysipelas

Comments on erysipelas

What made you want to look up erysipelas? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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