tu·ber·cu·lo·sis | \tu̇-ˌbər-kyə-ˈlō-səs, tyu̇-\
plural tuberculoses\tu̇-ˌbər-kyə-ˈlō-ˌsēz, tyu̇- \

Definition of tuberculosis 

: a highly variable communicable disease of humans and some other vertebrates that is caused by the tubercle bacillus and rarely in the U.S. by a related mycobacterium (Mycobacterium bovis), that affects especially the lungs but may spread to other areas (such as the kidney or spinal column), and that is characterized by fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, formation of tubercles, caseation, pleural effusions, and fibrosis

Examples of tuberculosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the study, participants with long-standing Type 1 diabetes were injected with two doses of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin tuberculosis vaccine — known as BCG — four weeks apart. Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, Washington Post, "Retooled Vaccine Raises Hopes As A Lower-Cost Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes," 13 July 2018 Johns Hopkins University’s health system evacuated two laboratory buildings on its Baltimore campus and isolated some staff for several hours Thursday afternoon after a tuberculosis sample was accidentally released. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "Johns Hopkins Evacuates Two Lab Buildings After Tuberculosis Scare," 5 July 2018 Shannon Hader focuses on infectious diseases and recently led a team on HIV and tuberculosis prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arit John,, "In the Year of the Woman, These Are the Races to Watch," 7 May 2018 Overexertion could also cause tuberculosis, scoliosis, hernias, heart disease, and other maladies, doctors believed. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Wheel, the Woman, and the Human Body," 6 July 2018 Gresham grew up in what is now the 1842 Inn and believed to have died at the age of 17 from tuberculosis. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Letters from the 'front' on Twitter mock prediction of second Civil War on July 4," 3 July 2018 Right now, selfie medicine is used for treating tuberculosis and hepatitis, but it could be applied to any medication, including drugs for mental illnesses and disabilities. Angela Chen, The Verge, "‘Selfie medicine’ might help people take their pills — at the cost of their privacy," 28 Mar. 2018 There was no indication that others may have been exposed to the tuberculosis, Hoppe said. CBS News, "Johns Hopkins buildings evacuated after possible release of tuberculosis - live updates," 5 July 2018 The trouble is that the government’s hitherto highly successful anti-tuberculosis campaign, the world’s largest such effort, is struggling to reach the country’s poorest and most vulnerable. The Economist, "Indian states are testing a new way of setting development priorities," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tuberculosis.' 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 tuberculosis

1839, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tuberculosis

New Latin

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19 Oct 2018

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The first known use of tuberculosis was in 1839

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English Language Learners Definition of tuberculosis

medical : a serious disease that mainly affects the lungs


tu·ber·cu·lo·sis | \tu̇-ˌbər-kyə-ˈlō-səs, tyu̇-\

Kids Definition of tuberculosis

: a serious disease that mostly affects the lungs and in which there is fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing


tu·ber·cu·lo·sis | \t(y)u̇-ˌbər-kyə-ˈlō-səs \
plural tuberculoses\-ˌsēz \

Medical Definition of tuberculosis 

: a usually chronic highly variable disease that is caused by a bacterium of the genus Mycobacterium (M. tuberculosis) and rarely in the United States by a related mycobacterium (M. bovis), is usually communicated by inhalation of the airborne causative agent, affects especially the lungs but may spread to other areas (as the kidney or spinal column) from local lesions or by way of the lymph or blood vessels, and is characterized by fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, inflammatory infiltrations, formation of tubercles, caseation, pleural effusion, and fibrosis

called also TB

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