Definition of 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
Recent Examples of rabies from the Web
None of the animals had any current rabies vaccinations paperwork.
Meat-flavored rabies-vaccine baits have been given to foxes and other carnivores in Europe and North America.
The licenses cost $20 annually for a neutered or spayed animal and require proof of a rabies vaccination.
Any dog or cat over the age of three months must have a current rabies vaccination by Connecticut law or be fined $136.
If available, bring prior proof of a rabies vaccination.
An owner claimed the dog the next day after paying for fees and a rabies vaccination.
People should call 311 if their pet is exposed to a wild animal and are concerned about rabies.
Authorities say a 5-year-old girl has received a rabies shot after being bitten by a coyote at an Arizona park.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rabies.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
RABIES Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rabies for English Language Learners
: a very serious and often fatal disease that affects animals (such as dogs) and that can be passed on to people if an infected animal bites them
RABIES Defined for Kids
Definition of rabies for Students
: a deadly disease of the nervous system that affects animals and can be passed on to people by the bite of an infected animal
Medical Definition of 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 ◆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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up rabies? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).