rin·​der·​pest ˈrin-dər-ˌpest How to pronounce rinderpest (audio)
: an acute infectious disease of ruminant mammals (such as cattle) that is caused by a morbillivirus (species Rinderpest morbillivirus) and that is marked by fever, diarrhea, and inflammation of mucous membranes and by high mortality in epidemics

Examples of rinderpest in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The only truly accurate measures of herd immunity are done in actual herds and come from studying animal viruses like rinderpest and foot-and-mouth disease, said Dr. David M. Morens, Dr. Fauci’s senior adviser on epidemiology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. New York Times, 24 Dec. 2020 Nicholle was a master researcher of infectious diseases and made many discoveries regarding the pathology and epidemiology of brucellosis, leishmaniasis, measles, rinderpest, scarlet fever, Mediterranean spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, trachoma and tuberculosis. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 21 Mar. 2012 In its entire almost 75-year history, the World Health Organization has certified only two diseases as totally eradicated: smallpox and rinderpest. Jen Christensen, CNN, 22 Feb. 2023 Outbreaks of rinderpest, a disease that struck livestock and grazing animals, decimated wildebeest populations in East Africa until the disease was eradicated there in the 1960s (it has since been eradicated worldwide). Valerie Ross, Discover Magazine, 18 July 2011 Free from rinderpest, the wildebeest populations went back up; their grazing kept the shrubbery---and the fires---in check. Valerie Ross, Discover Magazine, 18 July 2011 The successful efforts relied on each of those diseases having only a single host, humans for smallpox and cattle for rinderpest. Maryn McKenna, Wired, 31 Dec. 2021 In fact, this feat has only been achieved with smallpox and rinderpest (a viral disease that afflicts cows). Amesh Adalja, Fortune, 11 Sep. 2021 It's been achieved only twice: with rinderpest and smallpox. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, 13 May 2021 See More

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

Word History


German, from Rinder, plural, cattle + Pest pestilence

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rinderpest was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near rinderpest

Cite this Entry

“Rinderpest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rinderpest. Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


rin·​der·​pest ˈrin-dər-ˌpest How to pronounce rinderpest (audio)
: an acute infectious usually fatal disease of ruminant animals (as cattle) that is caused by a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus (species Rinderpest morbillivirus), is marked by fever, diarrhea, and inflammation of mucous membranes, and has been eradicated globally by widespread vaccination

called also cattle plague

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