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From Middle English fever, fevere, from Old English fefer, fefor ‎(fever), from Latin febris ‎(a fever), from ferveō ‎(to be hot, burn, boil); or perhaps literally 'a trembling', akin to Ancient Greek φέβομαι ‎(phébomai, to flee in terror), φόβος ‎(phóbos, flight, panic fear, fear, terror). Replaced native Old English hriþ ‎(fever). Compare also Saterland Frisian Fiewer, German Fieber, Danish feber, Swedish feber.



fever ‎(plural fevers)

  1. A higher than normal body temperature of a person (or, generally, a mammal), usually caused by disease.
    "I have a fever. I think I've the flu."
  2. (usually in combination with one or more preceding words) Any of various diseases.
    scarlet fever
  3. A state of excitement (of a person or people).
    • Shakespeare
      an envious fever
  4. A group of stingrays.


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fever ‎(third-person singular simple present fevers, present participle fevering, simple past and past participle fevered)

  1. To put into a fever; to affect with fever.
    a fevered lip
    The white hand of a lady fever thee. — Shakespeare.

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