syphilis

noun
syph·​i·​lis | \ ˈsi-f(ə-)ləs \

Definition of syphilis

: a chronic contagious usually venereal and often congenital disease caused by a spirochete (Treponema pallidum) and if left untreated producing chancres, rashes, and systemic lesions in a clinical course with three stages continued over many years — compare primary syphilis, secondary syphilis, tertiary syphilis

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from syphilis

syphilitic \ ˌsi-​fə-​ˈli-​tik \ adjective or noun

Examples of syphilis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

As the above video shows, that required unusual tactics and unorthodox strategies to beat syphilis and gonorrhea during the war. Phil Edwards, Vox, "The World War II battle against STDs," 21 Dec. 2018 Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are all curable and HIV can be prevented by taking daily PrEP. SELF, "Here's Why Sexually Transmitted Infection Rates Are So High, According to STI Experts," 8 Jan. 2019 As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in August, rates of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have climbed in the U.S. for the fourth year in a row. SELF, "Here's Why Sexually Transmitted Infection Rates Are So High, According to STI Experts," 8 Jan. 2019 Like herpes, sometimes sores can surface in areas that aren’t covered by a condom, and coming into contact with those areas can still put you at risk of contracting syphilis, the CDC says. Korin Miller, SELF, "These Are the Only Kinds of Birth Control That Also Protect Against STIs," 27 July 2018 Such syphilis cases carry higher risks of miscarriage, newborn death and lifelong health issues. Fox News, "Number of newborns born with syphilis doubles in 4 years, CDC reports," 27 Sep. 2018 For example, Karl Marx was German, not Russian; Paul Ehrlich used Salvarsan for syphilis, not gonorrhea. William F. Bynum, WSJ, "‘Between Hope and Fear’ Review: Anxieties Immune to Reason," 16 Aug. 2018 The rise in syphilis and gonorrhea cases in England was balanced out by a decrease in some other infections, including cases of genital warts, which declined 90% since 2009 among 15 to 17 year-olds -- thanks to a national immunization program. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Syphilis cases hit highest level in almost 70 years in England," 6 June 2018 Schumann had a complete mental breakdown soon afterward; the theories of his death at 46 in 1856 include syphilis, a brain tumor, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Dudamel untangles the strangeness of Schumann's symphonies," 29 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of syphilis

1653, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for syphilis

New Latin, from Syphilus, hero of the poem Syphilis sive Morbus Gallicus (Syphilis or the French disease) (1530) by Girolamo Fracastoro †1553 Italian poet and physician

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about syphilis

Statistics for syphilis

Last Updated

19 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for syphilis

The first known use of syphilis was in 1653

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for syphilis

syphilis

noun

English Language Learners Definition of syphilis

medical : a very serious disease that is spread through sexual intercourse

syphilis

noun
syph·​i·​lis | \ ˈsif-(ə-)ləs \

Medical Definition of syphilis

: a chronic contagious usually venereal and often congenital disease that is caused by a spirochete of the genus Treponema (T. pallidum) and if left untreated produces chancres, rashes, and systemic lesions in a clinical course with three stages continued over many years

called also lues

— see primary syphilis, secondary syphilis, tertiary syphilis

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on syphilis

Spanish Central: Translation of syphilis

Nglish: Translation of syphilis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of syphilis for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about syphilis

Comments on syphilis

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

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!