mea·​sles | \ ˈmē-zəlz How to pronounce measles (audio) \

Definition of measles

1a : an acute contagious disease that is caused by a morbillivirus (species Measles virus) and is marked especially by an eruption of distinct red circular spots

called also rubeola

b : any of various eruptive diseases (such as German measles)
2 [Middle English mesel infested with tapeworms, literally, leprous, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin misellus leper, from Latin, wretch, from misellus, diminutive of miser miserable] : infestation with or disease caused by larval tapeworms in the muscles and tissues

Examples of measles in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2019, the country saw the largest outbreak of vaccine-preventable measles cases since 1992, with 1,282 cases in 31 states. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Anti-vaxxers celebrate victory in NJ as pro-vaccine bill falls apart," 14 Jan. 2020 Countries with mandatory vaccines had a nearly 4 percentage point higher rate of measles vaccination and over 2 percentage point higher rate of pertussis vaccination. Kimberly Leonard, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Healthcare: Alcohol deaths are climbing but proposed reforms are controversial," 13 Jan. 2020 Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travelers coming from countries where measles is common. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Finally, a week without a new measles case, but U.S. measle-free status is still threatened," 16 Sep. 2019 University of Pittsburgh pharmacy student Alexandria Taylor prepared syringes during a free measles vaccination clinic from the Allegheny County Health Department at a Pittsburgh YMCA on May 8. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "Measles Outbreaks Strain Local Health Departments," 16 June 2019 But 2018′s surge to almost 10 million cases is driven by a smaller number of global hot spots, as measles is affecting some parts of the world far more intensely than others, WHO said Thursday. Washington Post, "If the U.S. had Samoa’s current level of measles cases, there would now be more than 7 million infected Americans," 6 Dec. 2019 Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travelers coming from countries where measles is common. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Finally, a week without a new measles case, but U.S. measle-free status is still threatened," 16 Sep. 2019 Still, cases of the virus occur and spread via travelers coming from countries where measles is common. NBC News, "US records 21 new measles cases as of last week," 19 Aug. 2019 The person’s measles case is the first reported in Travis County since 1999, the Statesman reported. USA TODAY, "Rare black rhino born, dengue fever, ‘Santa Lady,’ disputed Lincoln hat: News from around our 50 states," 26 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for measles

Middle English meseles, plural of mesel measles, spot characteristic of measles; akin to Middle Dutch masel spot characteristic of measles

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Time Traveler for measles

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for measles

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Measles.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/measles. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for measles

measles

noun
How to pronounce measles (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of measles

: a disease that causes a fever and red spots on the skin

measles

noun
mea·​sles | \ ˈmē-zəlz How to pronounce measles (audio) \

Kids Definition of measles

1 : a contagious disease in which there are fever and red spots on the skin
2 : any of several diseases (as German measles ) resembling true measles

measles

noun plural but singular or plural in construction
mea·​sles | \ ˈmē-zəlz How to pronounce measles (audio) \

Medical Definition of measles

1a : an acute contagious disease that is caused by a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus (species Measles virus), that commences with catarrhal symptoms, conjunctivitis, cough, and Koplik's spots on the oral mucous membrane, and that is marked by the appearance on the third or fourth day of an eruption of distinct red circular spots which coalesce in a crescentic form, are slightly raised, and after the fourth day of the eruption gradually decline

called also rubeola

b : any of various eruptive diseases (as German measles)
2 : infestation with or disease caused by larval tapeworms in the muscles and tissues specifically : infestation of cattle and swine with cysticerci of tapeworms that as adults parasitize humans — compare measle

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More from Merriam-Webster on measles

Spanish Central: Translation of measles

Nglish: Translation of measles for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of measles for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about measles

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