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From Anglo-Norman mourine, moreyn, Middle French morine, from Medieval Latin morticinium, ultimately from a form of Latin mori (to die).



murrain (countable and uncountable, plural murrains)

  1. (archaic) Plague, infectious disease, pestilence.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.iii:
      For heauen it selfe shall their successe enuy, / And them with plagues and murrins pestilent / Consume, till all their warlike puissaunce be spent.
  2. (archaic) Curse.
    • 1802, Joanna Baillie, A Series of Plays on the Passions of the Mind, III, The Second Marriage: Act 2, Scene 5.
      Nurse. Let him take what he gets, an' a murrain to him! he had no business to bring her here to torment us all, after the dear lady we have lost.
  3. (now chiefly historical, veterinary medicine) Any of several highly infectious diseases of cattle such as anthrax.