smallpox

noun
small·​pox | \ ˈsmȯl-ˌpäks How to pronounce smallpox (audio) \

Definition of smallpox

: 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

Examples of smallpox in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Edward Jenner developed a smallpox vaccine in England in 1796, and vaccines ultimately spread around the globe. Karen Kaplan Science And Medicine Editor, Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2022 Oxford Languages picked vax, which has been in sporadic use since Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine in the late 18th century. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Jan. 2022 Reports from Boston and nearby towns often described the smallpox vaccine in reverential terms. Jess Mchugh, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Dec. 2021 In Jacobson, the Court upheld a local law that required individuals 21 years of age and older to get the smallpox vaccine. Tom Spiggle, Forbes, 7 Dec. 2021 The process had a 2% death rate, as compared to the minimal risk modern smallpox vaccine. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 2 Dec. 2021 In the early 1900s, Cambridge, Massachusetts resident Henning Jacobson was fined $5 for refusing the smallpox vaccine. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 5 Nov. 2021 In 1796, physician Edward Jenner discovered vaccines, developing the first smallpox vaccine, six years after Franklin’s death. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, 2 Nov. 2021 The smallpox vaccine was administered by puncturing the skin with a two-pronged needle that had been dipped in the vaccine solution. Emily Mullin, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Oct. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of smallpox

circa 1562, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for smallpox

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The first known use of smallpox was circa 1562

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Dictionary Entries Near smallpox

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smallpox

smallpox plant

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Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Smallpox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/smallpox. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for smallpox

smallpox

noun

English Language Learners Definition of smallpox

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

smallpox

noun
small·​pox | \ ˈsmȯl-ˌpäks How to pronounce smallpox (audio) \

Kids Definition of smallpox

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

smallpox

noun
small·​pox | \ ˈsmȯl-ˌpäks How to pronounce smallpox (audio) \

Medical Definition of smallpox

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on smallpox

Nglish: Translation of smallpox for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smallpox for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about smallpox

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