from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An acute infectious disease of the small intestine, caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, severe dehydration, and depletion of electrolytes.
  • noun Any of various diseases of domesticated animals, such as chickens, turkeys, or hogs, marked by severe gastroenteritis.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An infectious and often rapidly fatal disease, prevailing epidemically, generally preceded by a diarrhea, and marked by violent purging of watery stools with flocculent particles suspended in them (“rice-water stools”), vomiting, cramps, especially in the legs and abdominal walls, and profound collapse: specifically termed Asiatic cholera.
  • noun An acute disorder of the digestive organs, not epidemic, marked by vomiting, purging, colic, and cramps in the legs and abdominal walls, with considerable exhaustion, mostly confined to the hotter months, and frequently due to errors of diet: specifically called sporadic cholera and cholera morbus.
  • noun A destructive infectious disease of fowls, characterized by a yellow or green diarrhea, with an offensive odor, and great weakness and speedy death.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Med.) One of several diseases affecting the digestive and intestinal tract and more or less dangerous to life, esp. the one commonly called Asiatic cholera.
  • noun a malignant and rapidly fatal disease, originating in Asia and frequently epidemic in the more filthy sections of other lands, to which the germ or specific poison may have been carried. It is characterized by diarrhea, rice-water evacuations, vomiting, cramps, pinched expression, and lividity, rapidly passing into a state of collapse, followed by death, or by a stage of reaction of fever.
  • noun See Comma bacillus.
  • noun a dangerous summer disease, of infants, caused by hot weather, bad air, or poor milk, and especially fatal in large cities.
  • noun a disease characterized by vomiting and purging, with gripings and cramps, usually caused by imprudence in diet or by gastrointestinal disturbance.
  • noun See under Chicken.
  • noun See under Hog.
  • noun a disease somewhat resembling the Asiatic cholera, but originating where it occurs, and rarely becoming epidemic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun pathology Any of several acute infectious diseases of humans and domestic animals, caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium through ingestion of contaminated water or food, usually marked by severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated water or food


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, cholera, jaundice; see choler.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin cholera ("bilious disease"), from Ancient Greek χολή (kholē, "bile").


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  • So my friend decided that The Painted Veil would be a "fun" Friday night movie.

    November 10, 2007

  • Read all about it in the Ghost Map. Or find out more in the movie "Love in the Time of Cholera". November must be cholera month.

    November 10, 2007

  • It's a terrible disease, but the word itself is so pretty...

    September 25, 2008

  • I always thought so too, c_b--until I read The Ghost Map. Quite explicit on the symptoms. *shudders* (A fantastic book, though.)

    September 25, 2008

  • Well, there we differ. I knew the symptoms but still think that divorced from its meaning, it's a pretty word... Like spirochete.

    Anyway... Usage/talk of cholera is also on the pilus page.

    October 4, 2008