Word of the Day : April 13, 2015


adjective FEB-ryle


: marked or caused by fever : feverish

Did You Know?

Not too surprisingly, febrile originated in the field of medicine. We note its first use in the work of the 17th-century medical reformer Noah Biggs. Biggs used it in admonishing physicians to care for their "febrile patients" properly. Both feverish and febrile are from the Latin word for fever, which is febris. Nowadays, febrile is used in medicine in a variety of ways, including references to such things as "the febrile phase" of an illness. And, like feverish, it also has an extended sense, as in "a febrile emotional state."


The patient exhibited a rash and febrile symptoms that were consistent with a certain rare tropical infection.

"Febrile seizures typically occur between the ages of 6 months and 6 years old. They happen when a fever spikes very quickly...." - Vikki Ortiz Healy, Chicago Tribune, August 4, 2014

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of capricious, our April 2nd Word of the Day? The answer is …


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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