diphtheria

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From French diphthérie, coined 1857 by Pierre Bretonneau; from Ancient Greek διφθέρα (diphthéra, prepared hide, leather), for the tough membrane that forms in the throat. Bretonneau earlier used diphthérite, from which diphtheritis.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪfˈθɪəɹɪə/, /dɪpˈθɪəɹɪə/

Noun[edit]

diphtheria (countable and uncountable, plural diphtherias)

  1. (pathology) A highly infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract characterised by a sore throat, fever, and difficulty breathing, its symptoms being due to a potent toxin excreted by the infecting agent Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

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