measles

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Either from Middle Dutch masels (blood blisters, measels) or Middle Low German maselen (red blemishes, measels), both from Old High German masala (blood blister, phlegmon). Doublet of measlings. Cognate with mazer & mase and Middle Low German masele & māsel. Influenced in pronunciation and some senses by mesel (leprous, leper).

Noun[edit]

measles pl (normally plural, singular measle)

  1. (medicine) An acute and highly contagious disease which often afflicts children caused by the virus Measles morbillivirus and causing red rashes, fever, runny nose, coughing, and red eyes.
    • a. 1325,, W. de Bibbesworth, Glossary, s.v.:
      Les rugeroles: maseles.
    • 1970, Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, p. 78:
      Maybe it's the 'measles. They say they're going around the neighborhood.
    • 1990, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 19, p. 1073:
      In the camps a case of measles is defined as a generalized rash of three or more days duration, with a fever of at least 38.8°C.., and any one of the following: cough, coryza or conjunctivitis.
  2. (medicine, obsolete) Any disease causing red rashes.
  3. (obsolete) Used as an intensifier.
    • 1631, Ben Johnson, Bartholmew Fayre:
      Why the meazills, should you stand heere, with your traine...
  4. (veterinary medicine) Synonym of cysticercosis: A disease of livestock or meat caused by the presence of tapeworm larvae.
    • a. 1637, Ben Jonson, Timber:
      The Swyne dyed of the Measils.
    • 1992, Anthea Bell translating Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat as The History of Food, p. 416:
      Porcine measles, thought by classical writers to be leprosy, is actually the result of tapeworm cysts which cause ulcerations of the pig's tongue.
  5. (botany, obsolete) Any disease causing a tree's bark to become rough and irregular.
    • 1674, John Josselyn, An Account of Two Voyages to New-England, p. 190:
      Their fruit-trees are subject to two diseases, the Meazels... and lowsiness.
  6. (medicine) plural of measle: a red spot forming part of a rash, (now) particularly those caused by M. morbillivirus.
    • 1599, "A.M." translating Osswald Gäbelkhover as The Boock of Physicke, p. 277:
      Others take a fether, and dippe it in the saide water, and therwith they annoynte all the Measells of the Face when they are come forth.
  7. (figuratively) plural of measle: any similar-looking red spot, particularly (printing) foxing.
    • 1867, Thomas Sutton & al., Dictionary of Photography, p. 217:
      Measles. When prints are imperfectly fixed, the appearance presented is very similar to that of the same disease in the human subject. Hence the name.
    • 1929, Samuel Hoffenstein, "Mr Walter de la Mare", Poems in Praise of Practically Nothing, p. 147:
      The stars, like measles, fade at last.
    • 1984, Gary Jennings, The Journeyer, p. 671:
      The Lady Tofaa also had a red measle of paint on her forehead between her eyes.
    • 1990, John Grant, The Very Last Gambado, p. 125:
      How do I get the measles out of an Indian paper print, Lovejoy?... Measles is trade nickname for foxing, those brown spots... that trouble books, prints, and watercolors.
  8. (veterinary medicine) plural of measle: the individual cysts of cysticercosis.
  9. (botany, obsolete) plural of measle: the individual blisters in the surface of a diseased tree's bark.
  10. (US, espionage jargon) A discreet assassination made to look like death from any natural cause.
    • 1975, Miles Copeland, Beyond Cloak and Dagger: Inside the CIA, p. 204:
      [] they would prefer having him "die of the measles," as wags at the CIA put it, than be punished by legal means. If there is no convenient way of administering the "measles," they may even favor simply letting him go.
    • 1977, Raymond Edward Palmer, The Making of a Spy, p. 99:
      Such final solutions, sometimes referred to as termination with extreme prejudice, are known in the CIA as dying of the measles — that is, the death appears to be of natural causes.
Usage notes[edit]

Typically, most senses of measels use the plural form but take singular agreement with verbs and other words, as if acting as an ellipsis for expressions such as a case of the measels. Typically but not always used with the definite article the.

Synonyms[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

measles

  1. Third-person singular simple present indicative form of measle

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English mesel (leprous, leper), from Norman mesel (leprous, leper), from Old French mesel (leprous, leper), from Late Latin misellus (leper), from miser (wretched, wretch) + -ellus (-elle).

Noun[edit]

measles

  1. (obsolete) plural of measle
  2. (obsolete) Alternative form of mesels: Leprosy.

Anagrams[edit]

References[edit]