smallpox

play
noun small·pox \ˈsmȯl-ˌpäks\

Definition of smallpox

  1. :  an acute contagious febrile disease of humans that is caused by a poxvirus (species Variola virus of the genus Orthopoxvirus), is characterized by a skin eruption with pustules, sloughing, and scar formation, and is believed to have been eradicated globally by widespread vaccination —called also variola

Recent Examples of smallpox from the Web

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

First Known Use of smallpox

circa 1562


SMALLPOX Defined for English Language Learners

smallpox

play
noun

Definition of smallpox for English Language Learners

  • : a serious disease that causes fever and a rash and often death


SMALLPOX Defined for Kids

smallpox

play
noun small·pox \ˈsmȯl-ˌpäks\

Definition of smallpox for Students

  1. :  a sometimes deadly disease in which fever and skin rash occur and which is believed to have been wiped out worldwide by vaccination


Medical Dictionary

smallpox

play
noun small·pox \ˈsmȯl-ˌpäks\

Medical Definition of smallpox

  1. :  an acute contagious febrile disease of humans that is caused by a poxvirus of the genus Orthopoxvirus (species Variola virus), is characterized by skin eruption with pustules, sloughing, and scar formation, and is believed to have been eradicated globally by widespread vaccination—called also variola; see variola major, variola minor



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

sad or melancholy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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