- Diphtheria is defined as an infectious disease, caused by the bacteria corynebacterium diphtheriae, with a high fever, weakness and difficult breathing and swallowing.
An example of diphtheria is a condition you get when exposed to bacteria that makes it hard for you to swallow or breath.
Origin of diphtheriaModern Latin ; from French diphtherie (so named (1855) by A. Trousseau (1801-67), French physician, replacing earlier diphthérite, first used (1821) by P. Bretonneau (1778-1862), French physician) ; from Classical Greek diphthera, leather ; from dephein, to tan hides ; from Indo-European base an unverified form deph-, to knead, stamp from source Armenian topʼel, to strike
Origin of diphtheriaNew Latin diphthēria, from French diphthérie, from Greek diphtherā, piece of hide, leather; see letter.
- diph′the·rit′ic , diph·ther′ic , diph·the′ri·al
(countable and uncountable, plural diphtherias)
From French diphthérie, coined 1857 by Pierre Bretonneau; from Ancient Greek διφθέρα (diphthera, “prepared hide, leather”), for the tough membrane that forms in the throat. Bretonneau earlier used diphthérite, from which diphtheritis.