spongiform encephalopathy

noun

spon·​gi·​form encephalopathy ˈspən-ji-ˌfȯrm- How to pronounce spongiform encephalopathy (audio)
: any of various degenerative diseases of the brain characterized by the development of porous spongelike lesions in brain tissue and by deterioration in neurological functioning
specifically : prion disease

Examples of spongiform encephalopathy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These included bacterial diseases like bovine tuberculosis and Q fever, viral diseases like Nipah virus and H5N1 avian influenza, and prion diseases like Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. John Drake, Forbes, 12 Oct. 2021 These spongiform encephalopathies serve as a negative selection pressure against cannibalism. National Geographic, 19 Feb. 2017 By consuming meat from these cows, the spongiform encephalopathy disease was transmitted to humans. National Geographic, 19 Feb. 2017

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

Word History

Etymology

spongiform resembling a sponge, from Latin spongia + English -iform

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spongiform encephalopathy was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near spongiform encephalopathy

Spongidae

spongiform encephalopathy

Spongiidae

Cite this Entry

“Spongiform encephalopathy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spongiform%20encephalopathy. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

spongiform encephalopathy

noun
: any of various degenerative diseases of the brain characterized by the development of porous spongelike lesions in brain tissue and by deterioration in neurological functioning
specifically : prion disease

More from Merriam-Webster on spongiform encephalopathy

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