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
Recent Examples of smallpox from the Web
Diseases including smallpox, typhus and pneumonia killed nearly eight percent of the prison population.
Mankind has successfully managed to eradicate only two diseases to date: smallpox in humans followed by the deadly cattle plague, rinderpest.
But the current generation of public health and medical workers had never done a smallpox vaccination.
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
SMALLPOX Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of smallpox for English Language Learners
: a serious disease that causes fever and a rash and often death
SMALLPOX Defined for Kids
Definition of smallpox for Students
: a sometimes deadly disease in which fever and skin rash occur and which is believed to have been wiped out worldwide by vaccination
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
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