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

His family had a candy business in New York but had moved to Colorado with the hope that cleaner air would help his father, Clement Gardiner, recover from tuberculosis. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Robert Gardiner, Wall Street Giant, Helped Sears With ‘Socks and Stocks’ Strategy," 16 Nov. 2018 The institute’s focus is on diseases that disproportionately affect the poor: malaria, tuberculosis, and enteric diseases. Helen Branswell, STAT, "The Gates Foundation rolls outs details of its new biotech, one without a profit motive," 7 June 2018 The Muirdale Tuberculosis Sanatorium exemplifies pioneering methods for the treatment of tuberculosis, a deadly communicable disease for which no cure was developed until after World War II, according to the Society. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former Muirdale Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Wauwatosa placed on the state Register of Historic Places," 29 May 2018 Papua New Guinea has one of the world’s highest rates of tuberculosis. Rachel Pannett, WSJ, "Global Leaders Converge on Pacific Island—Just Don’t Ask Them to Stay There," 12 Nov. 2018 The corridors echoed with the coughs of skeletal HIV patients, some of whom are suffering complications from tuberculosis. Anthony Faiola And Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "Blackouts, hyperinflation, hunger: Maduro faces reelection as Venezuela deteriorates," 16 May 2018 Survivors arrived at the camps with a host of overlapping health issues— tuberculosis, starvation, infectious skin conditions — that were exacerbated by deficient care, said Jael Geis of the Jewish Museum in Berlin at the conference. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 The study, published Thursday in the journal npj Vaccines by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, looked at nine people with type 1 diabetes who were given a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis, called bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "There’s Hope for a Vaccine to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes," 21 June 2018 Many people who cross the border already need treatment for disease (like chickenpox, tuberculosis, or scabies), and sanitation is a big problem. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Detained immigrant comes down with chickenpox days after prison staff said there weren’t enough doctors," 20 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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30 Nov 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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