mon·​key·​pox | \ ˈməŋ-kē-ˌpäks \

Definition of monkeypox

: a rare virus disease especially of central and western Africa that is caused by a poxvirus (species Monkeypox virus of the genus Orthopoxvirus), occurs chiefly in wild rodents and primates, and when transmitted to humans resembles smallpox but is milder

Examples of monkeypox in a Sentence

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Nigeria had other outbreaks last year including cholera, hepatitis, monkeypox, Lassa and yellow fevers, showing the challenges to the country’s health care system. Washington Post, "Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists hamper polio eradication," 16 Apr. 2018 The United States experienced a monkeypox outbreak in 2003. Washington Post, "The story must be told.," 3 Nov. 2017 Wild animals could be used as bioterrorist weapons to spread infectious diseases such as monkeypox, which can be fatal for humans, or avian paramyxovirus, a disease carried by exotic birds that can spread to poultry. National Geographic, "The World Has a Chance to Make the Wild Animal Trade More Humane," 26 Feb. 2016 More than three dozen people in three Midwestern states are suspected of having monkeypox, and some have been quarantined in their homes to stop it from spreading. Wired Staff, WIRED, "Monkeypox Mania," 11 June 2003

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

1959, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of monkeypox was in 1959

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mon·​key·​pox | \ ˈməŋ-kē-ˌpäks \

Medical Definition of monkeypox

: a rare virus disease especially of rain forest areas of central and western Africa that is caused by a poxvirus of the genus Orthopoxvirus (species Monkeypox virus), that occurs in wild rodents and primates and in captive monkeys, and that when transmitted to humans resembles smallpox but is milder

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