from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A chronic infectious disease caused by a spirochete (Treponema pallidum), either transmitted by direct contact, usually in sexual intercourse, or passed from mother to child in utero, and progressing through three stages characterized respectively by local formation of chancres, ulcerous skin eruptions, and systemic infection leading to general paresis.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A disease spread via sexual activity, caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The pox, or venereal disease; a chronic, specific, infectious disease, usually communicated by sexual intercourse or by hereditary transmission, and occurring in three stages known as primary, secondary, and tertiary syphilis. See under primary, secondary, and tertiary.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An infectious venereal disease of chronic course, communicated from person to person by actual contact with discharges containing the virus, or by heredity.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a common venereal disease caused by the treponema pallidum spirochete; symptoms change through progressive stages; can be congenital (transmitted through the placenta)
New Latin, from "Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus,” "Syphilis, or the French Disease,” title of a poem by Girolamo Fracastoro (1478?-1553), from Syphilus, the poem's protagonist.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Modern Latin, originally the title of a poem by Girolamo Fracastoro concerning "Syphilus", the supposed first sufferer of the disease. (Wiktionary)