scarlet fever


Definition of scarlet fever

: an acute contagious febrile disease caused by hemolytic Group A streptococci and characterized by inflammation of the nose, throat, and mouth, generalized toxemia, and a red rash

Examples of scarlet fever in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other potentially fatal illnesses were also linked to milk, including diphtheria, typhoid and scarlet fever. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2021 The islanders benefitted from a near-complete lack of infectious disease; many illnesses, including smallpox and scarlet fever, rarely reached them. Katherine S. Xue, The New Yorker, 21 July 2021 Nearly 50 years ago, medical sociologists John and Sonja McKinlay examined death rates from 10 serious diseases: tuberculosis, scarlet fever, influenzae, pneumonia, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, smallpox, typhoid, and polio. Robert M. Kaplan, STAT, 12 July 2021 Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacterium that causes strep throat and scarlet fever, can also cause organ damage, particularly of the heart. Quanta Magazine, 1 July 2021 Antibiotics would take much of the terror out of diseases such as scarlet fever and pneumonia. Perri Klass, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021 Meanwhile, stronger strains of the Streptococcus pyogenes bacterium that causes scarlet fever have been found in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Nicolas Noulin, Scientific American, 5 May 2021 An example is rheumatic fever, which can be triggered by Streptococcus bacteria in the form of strep throat or scarlet fever. Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2021 Home to a largely working-class population living in often terribly overcrowded dwellings, Hackney was subject during this period to frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, scarlet fever, measles and whooping cough. Jo Caird, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scarlet fever.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scarlet fever

circa 1651, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for scarlet fever

Time Traveler

The first known use of scarlet fever was circa 1651

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Dictionary Entries Near scarlet fever

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scarlet fever

scarlet fritillary

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Cite this Entry

“Scarlet fever.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for scarlet fever

scarlet fever


English Language Learners Definition of scarlet fever

: a very serious disease that causes a fever, sore throat, and a red rash

scarlet fever


Kids Definition of scarlet fever

: a serious illness in which there is a sore throat, high fever, and red rash

scarlet fever

scar·​let fever | \ ˈskär-lət- How to pronounce scarlet fever (audio) \

Medical Definition of scarlet fever

: an acute contagious febrile disease caused by Group A bacteria of the genus Streptococcus (especially various strains of S. pyogenes) and characterized by inflammation of the nose, throat, and mouth, generalized toxemia, and a red rash

called also scarlatina

More from Merriam-Webster on scarlet fever

Nglish: Translation of scarlet fever for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about scarlet fever


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