per·​tus·​sis pər-ˈtə-səs How to pronounce pertussis (audio)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Finally, Yost said the language fails to describe important exceptions in the statute, including keeping in place requirements for most K-12 students to provide proof of immunization against mumps, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, rubeola, and rubella. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 9 Dec. 2021 The administration is relying on the OSH Act and Medicare and Medicaid, which were implemented after eradication or herd immunity had already been achieved for other major vaccine-preventable infections like smallpox, measles, and pertussis, Wiley said. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, 10 Sep. 2021 The percentage of children worldwide who had received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, known as DTP3 — which Unicef uses as a benchmark for immunization coverage — fell five points between 2019 and 2021, to 81 percent. Stephanie Nolen, New York Times, 14 July 2022 And the more doses of the acellular vaccine, the higher the pertussis risk. Carrie Arnold, Discover Magazine, 23 May 2013 Many pregnant women don’t get vaccinated; at most, only 57% to 61% of pregnant people get shots to protect against the flu and tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis, according to a 2020 study from the CDC. Jen Christensen, CNN, 5 Apr. 2023 That translated to approximately a quarter-million children vulnerable to diseases like measles, diphtheria, pertussis and more. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Apr. 2023 Routine childhood vaccinations -- jabs that help stave off devastating illnesses such as polio, measles, diphtheria and pertussis -- are carefully laid out in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and all states require these vaccines for children attending public school. Lauren Joseph, ABC News, 17 Nov. 2021 For example, the Tdap shot, which covers tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, is something adults should receive every five to 10 years. Leslie Nemo, Discover Magazine, 23 Sep. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pertussis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin per- thoroughly + tussis cough

First Known Use

circa 1772, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pertussis was circa 1772

Dictionary Entries Near pertussis

Cite this Entry

“Pertussis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


per·​tus·​sis pər-ˈtəs-əs How to pronounce pertussis (audio)

Medical Definition


per·​tus·​sis pər-ˈtəs-əs How to pronounce pertussis (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on pertussis

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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