an acute, highly contagious disease caused by a poxvirus and characterized by prolonged fever, vomiting, and pustular eruptions that often left pitted scars, or pockmarks, when healed: eradicated in the 1970s
Origin of smallpoxso called to distinguish it from syphilis, the “great pox”
An acute, highly infectious, often fatal disease caused by a poxvirus and characterized by high fever and aches with subsequent widespread eruption of pimples that blister, produce pus, and form pockmarks. Smallpox was eradicated worldwide by 1979 as a result of numerous vaccination campaigns and exists only as a laboratory specimen. Also called variola.
Origin of smallpoxEarly Modern English small pockes, small pustules (as opposed to great pockes, the great pox or syphilis), from pockes, pl. of pock; see pock.
(usually uncountable, plural smallpoxes)