rat-bite fever


Definition of rat-bite fever

: either of two febrile bacterial diseases of humans usually transmitted by the bite of a rat

First Known Use of rat-bite fever

1910, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rat-bite fever

Dictionary Entries near rat-bite fever



rat bandicoot

rat-bite fever



rat cheese

Statistics for rat-bite fever

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rat-bite fever

The first known use of rat-bite fever was in 1910

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for rat-bite fever

rat-bite fever


Medical Definition of rat-bite fever

: either of two febrile human diseases usually transmitted by the bite of a rat:
a : a disease that is marked by irregular relapsing fever with chills and nausea or vomiting, rashes on the arms, legs, hands and feet, and muscular pain and arthritis, and that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Streptobacillus (S. moniliformis)
b : a disease that is marked by recurrent fever and chills, painful inflammation of the bite wound, and muscular pain, rash, and enlargement of the lymph nodes especially in the region where the bite occurred and that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Spirillum (S. minor synonym S. minus)

called also sodoku

More from Merriam-Webster on rat-bite fever

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about rat-bite fever

Comments on rat-bite fever

What made you want to look up rat-bite fever? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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