leprosy

noun
lep·​ro·​sy | \ ˈle-prə-sē How to pronounce leprosy (audio) \

Definition of leprosy

1 : a chronic infectious disease caused by a mycobacterium (Mycobacterium leprae) affecting especially the skin and peripheral nerves and characterized by the formation of nodules or macules that enlarge and spread accompanied by loss of sensation with eventual paralysis, wasting of muscle, and production of deformities

called also Hansen's disease

2 : a morally or spiritually harmful influence

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Other Words from leprosy

leprotic \ le-​ˈprä-​tik How to pronounce leprosy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of leprosy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The researchers tested one of them — a cheap leprosy pill called clofazimine — over several months, doing experiments in human lung tissue and hamsters. New York Times, "How the Search for Covid-19 Treatments Faltered While Vaccines Sped Ahead," 30 Jan. 2021 The researchers tested one of them — a cheap leprosy pill called clofazimine — over several months, doing experiments in human lung tissue and hamsters. Carl Zimmer, BostonGlobe.com, "How the search for COVID-19 treatments faltered while vaccines sped ahead," 30 Jan. 2021 Those with leprosy were incarcerated in the federal hospital and isolated from family and community. Chris Smith | Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "Carville facility has made Hansen's Disease a prominent subject in Louisiana literature," 22 Jan. 2021 In 1873, Norwegian scientist Gerhard Armauer Hansen isolated the bacterium that causes leprosy. Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, Science | AAAS, "From leprosy to COVID-19, how stigma makes it harder to fight epidemics," 16 Sep. 2020 Almost every sense of the term comes together in leprosy. Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, Science | AAAS, "From leprosy to COVID-19, how stigma makes it harder to fight epidemics," 16 Sep. 2020 Hitomi Nakayama, a lawyer who heads a working group advising the government on the stigma issue, pointed to the 20th century history of medically unjustified isolation of patients with Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy. Miho Inada, WSJ, "Coronavirus Stigma Lingers Long After Disease Fades," 27 Dec. 2020 For years, researchers thought leprosy afflicted only humans. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Leprosy, ancient scourge of humans, found to assail wild chimpanzees," 11 Nov. 2020 Similarly, diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy and measles have been with us for several millennia. Nükhet Varlik, The Conversation, "How do pandemics end? History suggests diseases fade but are almost never truly gone," 14 Oct. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for leprosy

Middle English lepruse, from leprous

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Time Traveler for leprosy

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The first known use of leprosy was in the 15th century

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Statistics for leprosy

Last Updated

13 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leprosy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leprosy. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for leprosy

leprosy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of leprosy

medical : a serious disease that causes painful rough areas on the skin and that badly damages nerves and flesh

leprosy

noun
lep·​ro·​sy | \ ˈlep-rə-sē How to pronounce leprosy (audio) \
plural leprosies

Medical Definition of leprosy

: a chronic infectious disease that is caused by a mycobacterium (Mycobacterium leprae), affects especially the skin and peripheral nerves, and is characterized by the formation of nodules or macules that enlarge and spread and are accompanied by loss of sensation with eventual paralysis, wasting of muscle, and production of deformities About 12 million people worldwide have leprosy, a disfiguring, chronic infection that damages nerves, skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.Harvard Health Letter, February 1998 The good news is that leprosy is relatively easy to diagnose and cure. It is caused by the microbe Mycobacterium leprae, which produces telltale symptoms of enlarged nerves and light-coloured patches of numb skin on a patient's face or extremities.— Bryn Nelson, New Scientist, 16 July 2005 Leprosy is actually the least infectious of the major communicable diseases.— Sandra Dallas, Business Week, 1 Mar. 1999 Leprosy … is progressive and causes the growth of widely distributed lumps on the skin and thickening of the skin and nerves. Severe cases are characterized by muscle weakness and paralysis.Insight, 22 Dec. 1986

called also hansenosis, Hansen's disease, lepra

— see lepromatous leprosy, tuberculoid leprosy

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More from Merriam-Webster on leprosy

Nglish: Translation of leprosy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leprosy for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about leprosy

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