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

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Other words from syphilis

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

Examples of syphilis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Laure was also a morphine addict and reputed to have had an affair with the writer Guy de Maupassant, a frequent salon attendee who suffered from syphilis and eventually went mad. Moira Hodgson, WSJ, "‘Proust’s Duchess’ Review: The Guermantes Trio," 5 July 2018 These communities have good reason to be suspicious of research because of past breaches of trust perpetrated by government programs — from the Tuskegee syphilis study to the Havasupai genetic study. Eric Dishman, STAT, "I handed over my genetic data to the NIH. Here’s why you should, too," 13 June 2018 In 2016, there were more than 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Michelle Andrews, Washington Post, "The ‘Perfect Storm’: Redirecting Family Planning Funds Could Undercut STD Fight," 12 June 2018 The tentacles of the program also wound around the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study, in which black men with the disease remained untreated even after the discovery of life-saving penicillin so scientists could track the course of the illness. Julia M. Klein, BostonGlobe.com, "When America imprisoned ‘promiscuous’ women," 23 May 2018 Gay and bisexual men make up the vast majority of new syphilis cases. Soumya Karlamangla, latimes.com, "STDs in L.A. County are skyrocketing. Officials think racism and stigma may be to blame," 7 May 2018 In 2012 to 2016, the CDPH reported an over 500 percent increase in cases of congenital syphilis. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "STD rates rise in Sacramento County, following statewide, nationwide trends," 2 July 2018 In 2017, England saw a 20% increase in syphilis and a 22% increase in gonorrhoea. The Economist, "Why STDs are soaring in America," 13 June 2018 In Australia, syphilis cases increased by 107% and gonorrhea increased by 63% between 2011 and 2016. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Syphilis cases hit highest level in almost 70 years in England," 6 June 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.

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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

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Statistics for syphilis

Last Updated

20 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for syphilis

The first known use of syphilis was in 1653

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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

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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

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