var·​i·​cel·​la ˌver-ə-ˈse-lə How to pronounce varicella (audio)

Examples of varicella in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Viruses like measles and varicella (which causes chickenpox) on average take longer than a week to incubate, so, by comparison, a three-day incubation period is already pretty fast. Jamie Ducharme, TIME, 9 Jan. 2024 For example, a person can have immunity to the varicella virus that causes chickenpox—either via acquiring the infection as a child or through a vaccine. Leah Groth, Health, 17 Nov. 2023 One dose of the vaccine is estimated as being 85% protective in preventing varicella infection and anywhere from 67 to 100% effective in preventing herpes zoster infection, a later reactivation of varicella infection (1). Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2016 It’s caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), which is the same virus that causes chickenpox, Nath said. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 21 Nov. 2023 Vaccination for the prevention chickenpox (primary varicella infection). Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 1 Oct. 2016 In early March, Feinstein announced that she was hospitalized for shingles, roughly two weeks after coming down with the painful, blistering rash that heralds the reawakening of the long-dormant varicella zoster virus. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2023 Chicken Pox The chickenpox (varicella) rash begins as red marks on the face and body that resemble mosquito bites. Parents Editors, Parents, 6 June 2023 Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is caused by varicella zoster, the same virus that causes shingles and chickenpox. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 25 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from New Latin, from vari- (in variola variola) + Medieval Latin -cella, diminutive suffix (extracted from nouns such as nāvicella, diminutive of Latin nāvicula "boat," diminutive of nāvis "ship")

First Known Use

1771, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of varicella was in 1771

Dictionary Entries Near varicella

Cite this Entry

“Varicella.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


var·​i·​cel·​la ˌvar-ə-ˈsel-ə How to pronounce varicella (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on varicella

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!