Definitions

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

  • n. A chronic, mildly contagious granulomatous disease of tropical and subtropical regions, caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, characterized by ulcers of the skin, bone, and viscera and leading to loss of sensation, paralysis, gangrene, and deformation. Also called Hansen's disease.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An infectious disease caused by infection by Mycobacterium leprae.
  • n. In the Bible, a disease of the skin not conclusively identified, which can also affect clothes and houses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cutaneous disease which first appears as blebs or as reddish, shining, slightly prominent spots, with spreading edges. These are often followed by an eruption of dark or yellowish prominent nodules, frequently producing great deformity. In one variety of the disease, anæsthesia of the skin is a prominent symptom. In addition there may be wasting of the muscles, falling out of the hair and nails, and distortion of the hands and feet with destruction of the bones and joints. It is incurable, and is probably contagious.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to several different diseases. Regarding the leprosy of the Jews nothing certain is known. The term was probably applied to various cutaneous diseases, especially those of a chronic or contagious character. The term is now commonly restricted to lepra cutanea, or elephantiasis Græcorum. See lepra.

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

  • n. chronic granulomatous communicable disease occurring in tropical and subtropical regions; characterized by inflamed nodules beneath the skin and wasting of body parts; caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae

Etymologies

Middle English lepruse, from leprus, leprous; see leprous.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin leprōsia. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The sole mention of the word leprosy brought to mind images of what I had seen in the movies and read in the Bible.

    Make Your Life Prime Time

  • But in East Timor, and specifically Oe-cusse Enclave, leprosy is not feared as it is in richer, more educated places.

    Tiny East Timor Declares War On Leprosy

  • I was interested in leprosy, and upon that, as upon every other island subject, Kersdale had encyclopedic knowledge.

    Good-bye, Jack

  • Contrary to age-old belief, leprosy is surprisingly hard to catch.

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog

  • On the principle that leprosy is more fun if you understand why your fingers are falling off, permit me a few thoughts on Karl Marx, his witless theories, and our descent into a Disney version of them.

    Marx In Disguise « Isegoria

  • It happens that Kersdale is interested in leprosy, has an encyclopedic knowledge of it and is an ardent defender of Molokai, insisting that the lepers there are happy and the horrors bandied about are poppycock.

    “Some day, all the fools will be dead....”

  • Dr. Brand is an expert in leprosy and other conditions that cause the nerves to stop registering pain.

    D. G. D. Davidson: Marathon Man

  • And by the same means leprosy is even now decreasing in the

    Chapter 7

  • A doctor insists that the cause of leprosy is a long-continued fish diet, and he proves his theory voluminously till a physician from the highlands of India demands why the natives of that district should therefore be afflicted by leprosy when they have never eaten fish, nor all the generations of their fathers before them.

    Chapter 7

  • Of course, leprosy is leprosy, and it is a terrible thing; but so much that is lurid has been written about Molokai that neither the lepers, nor those who devote their lives to them, have received a fair deal.

    Chapter 7

Comments

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  • Ben-Hur's mother and sister had this.

    July 16, 2012


  • "Take some unicorn liver, grind it up and mash with egg yolk to make an ointment. Every type of leprosy is healed, if treated frequently with this ointment, unless the patient is destined to die or God intends not to aid him. For the liver of that animal has a good, pure warmth and the yolk is the most precious part of the egg and like a salve. Leprosy, however, comes frequently from black bile and from plethoric black blood. Take some unicorn pelt. From it, cut a belt and gird it around the body, thus averting attack by plague or fever. Make also some shoes from unicorn leather and wear them, thus assuring every healthy feet, thighs and joints, nor will the plague ever attack these limbs. Apart from that, nothing else of the unicorn is to be used medically."

    St Hildegard of Bingen.

    January 11, 2009