rabies

noun

ra·​bies ˈrā-bēz How to pronounce rabies (audio)
plural rabies
: an acute virus disease of the nervous system of mammals that is caused by a rhabdovirus (species Rabies virus of the genus Lyssavirus) usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal and that is characterized typically by increased salivation, abnormal behavior, and eventual paralysis and death when untreated

Examples of rabies in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The owner of the attacking dog showed police documentation for rabies. cleveland, 20 Jan. 2023 Animal control officers told KYTV that one dog had not been vaccinated for rabies and the owners could not provide proof of vaccination for the other. Steve Helling, Peoplemag, 22 Dec. 2022 In one study, 11% of cats tested in Puerto Rico were positive for rabies. Judy Stone, Forbes, 19 Dec. 2022 All of the dogs taken into custody from the house involved in the fatal mauling of 4-year-old Lea Freeman have been euthanized and will be tested for rabies, Dallas Animal Services announced Wednesday. Dallas News, 13 July 2022 The same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention temporarily suspended the importation of dogs from countries with a high risk of rabies. Andrea Sachs, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Jan. 2023 Hart said bobcat attacks are extremely rare and usually happen because the animal is in the late stages of rabies. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 5 Jan. 2023 Raccoons are also one of the main carriers of rabies, second to only bats, according to the CDC. Dallas News, 30 Nov. 2022 Rabies vaccines are available, according to the CDC, as well as doses of rabies immune globulin. The Courier-Journal, 17 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, madness, from rabere to rave — more at rage

First Known Use

circa 1598, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rabies was circa 1598

Dictionary Entries Near rabies

Cite this Entry

“Rabies.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rabies. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

rabies

noun
ra·​bies ˈrā-bēz How to pronounce rabies (audio)
: a disease of the nervous system of mammals that is caused by a virus usually passed on by the bite of an animal already infected with it and is always deadly if untreated

Medical Definition

rabies

noun
ra·​bies ˈrā-bēz How to pronounce rabies (audio)
plural rabies
: an acute virus disease of the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals that is transmitted in infected saliva usually through the bite of a rabid animal and that is typically characterized by fatigue, headache, fever, and general discomfort progressing to increased salivation, excitability, confusion, muscle weakness and spasms, hallucinations, abnormal behavior, paralysis, coma, and death

Note: Rabies has a long incubation period that averages several weeks but may be as long as several years. Once the symptoms appear, rabies is typically untreatable and fatal. If received soon after the bite of a rabid animal, treatment is usually effective and involves administration of immune globulin and a series of rabies vaccine injections. Rabies is caused by a rhabdovirus (species Rabies virus of the genus Lyssavirus).

called also hydrophobia

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