from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A leper.
  • n. A tapeworm larva.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A leper.
  • n. A tapeworm larva. See 2d measles, 4.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A spot or an excrescence on a tree. See measles, 3.
  • n. An individual Cysticercus cellulosæ, the larval or scoleciform stage of the pork-tapeworm, Tænia solium, producing the disease called measles in swine (but not human measles); hence, any similar larva.


From Old French mesel ("leprous"), from Latin misellus ("wretched", "unfortunate"), diminutive of miser ("wretched", "sick"). (Wiktionary)



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  • "So it befell many years agone there fell upon her a malady; and when she had lain a great while she fell unto a measle, and of no leech she could have no remedy."
    - Thomas Malory, 'The Holy Grail'.

    September 14, 2009