her·​pes | \ ˈhər-(ˌ)pēz How to pronounce herpes (audio) \

Definition of herpes

: any of several inflammatory diseases of the skin caused by herpesviruses and characterized by clusters of vesicles especially : herpes simplex

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Other Words from herpes

herpetic \ (ˌ)hər-​ˈpe-​tik How to pronounce herpetic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of herpes in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This showed that all elephants in the herd had had some type of herpes virus in their system at some point in their lives, explained Jeff Proudfoot, senior veterinarian at the Indianapolis Zoo. Lorena Villanueva-almanza, The Indianapolis Star, "'Devastating' virus killed 2 Indianapolis Zoo elephants. Their deaths may save others.," 12 Aug. 2020 Winter winds bring bouts of pneumonia, flu and other respiratory diseases before the blooms of spring usher in bursts of chickenpox and herpes. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Warmer Weather Probably Won’t Stop COVID-19," 20 Mar. 2020 Other herpes viruses, such as Epstein Barr virus, the cause of mononucleosis, and cytomegalovirus, which is a particular problem in immunodeficient individuals, can also emerge after latency. William Petri, The Conversation, "Does coronavirus linger in the body? What we know about how viruses in general hang on in the brain and testicles," 31 July 2020 Maisy was suffering from fibropapillomatosis, a herpes-like virus affecting sea turtles around the world, when it was rescued almost a year ago off the Lower Keys, according to The Associated Press. Fox News, "Large hybrid sea turtle partakes in 'race' near Florida Keys," 23 June 2020 There’s a whole suite of antibiotics, from azithromycin to tobramycin, plus valacyclovir, for treating viruses like herpes. Troy Farah, Ars Technica, "Vicodin, ketamine, and caffeine: The ingredients of a good space pharmacy," 8 June 2020 On the call’s other end, physician Carla Harwell considered the possibilities, from seasonal allergies to vision-damaging herpes. Marion Renault, Wired, "When Health Care Moves Online, Many Patients Are Left Behind," 8 June 2020 Similarly, drugs that are used to treat the herpes simplex virus aren't effective against other herpes viruses. NBC News, "Why are viruses hard to kill? Virologists explain why these tiny parasites are so tough to treat," 7 May 2020 In April 2017, Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., released detailing allegations of abuse by 12 faculty members, including an English teacher who allegedly gave a student herpes in the 1980s. Hillary Kelly, Los Angeles Times, "The boarding school novel’s #MeToo reckoning," 5 Mar. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for herpes

Latin, from Greek herpēs, from herpein to creep — more at serpent

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Time Traveler for herpes

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for herpes

Last Updated

24 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Herpes.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herpes. Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for herpes


How to pronounce herpes (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of herpes

: a disease that causes painful spots on the skin


her·​pes | \ ˈhər-(ˌ)pēz How to pronounce herpes (audio) \

Medical Definition of herpes

: any of several inflammatory diseases of the skin caused by herpesviruses and characterized by clusters of vesicles especially : herpes simplex

More from Merriam-Webster on herpes

Nglish: Translation of herpes for Spanish Speakers

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