- The definition of a plague is a widespread disease that is deadly.
An example of plague is the yellow feaver outbreak in New Orleans in 1852.
- anything that afflicts or troubles; calamity; scourge
- any contagious epidemic disease that is deadly; esp., bubonic plague
- Informal a nuisance; annoyance
- Bible any of various calamities sent down as divine punishment: Ex. 9:14, Num. 16:46
Origin: Middle English plage from Middle French from Classical Latin plaga, a blow, misfortune, inch(es) LL(Ec), plague from Glassical Greek plēgē, plaga from Indo-European an unverified form plaga, a blow from base an unverified form plag-, to strike from source flaw
- plaguer noun
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- A widespread affliction or calamity, especially one seen as divine retribution.
- A sudden destructive influx or injurious outbreak: a plague of locusts; a plague of accidents.
- A cause of annoyance; a nuisance: “the plague of social jabbering” (George Santayana).
- a. A highly infectious, usually fatal, epidemic disease; a pestilence.b. A highly fatal infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Yersinia (syn. Pasturella ) pestis, is transmitted primarily by the bite of a rat flea, and occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms.
- To pester or annoy persistently or incessantly. See Synonyms at harass.
- To afflict with or as if with a disease or calamity: “Runaway inflation further plagued the wage- or salary-earner” (Edwin O. Reischauer).
Origin: Middle English plage, blow, calamity, plague, from Late Latin plāga, from Latin, blow, wound; see plāk-2 in Indo-European roots. V., Middle English plaghen, from Middle Dutch, from plaghe, plague, from Late Latin plāga.
- plaguˈer noun
plague - Cultural Definition
A highly contagious disease, such as bubonic plague, that spreads quickly throughout a population and causes widespread sickness and death.
- The term is also used to refer to widespread outbreaks of many kinds, such as a “plague of locusts.”
plague - Medical Definition
- A highly infectious, usually fatal, epidemic disease; a pestilence.
- A highly fatal infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is transmitted primarily by the bite of a rat flea, and occurs in bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic forms.
plague - Phrases/IdiomsThe American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
plague - Science Definition
- Any of various highly infectious, usually fatal epidemic diseases.
- An often fatal disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted to humans usually by fleas that have bitten infected rats or other rodents. ♦ bubonic plague , the most common type, is characterized by the tender, swollen lymph nodes called buboes, fever, clotting abnormalities of the blood, and tissue necrosis. An epidemic of bubonic plague in fourteenth-century Europe and Asia was known as the Black Death.
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