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

  • n. An acute, contagious viral disease, usually occurring in childhood and characterized by eruption of red spots on the skin, fever, and catarrhal symptoms. Also called rubeola.
  • n. Black measles.
  • n. Any of several other diseases, especially German measles, that cause similar but milder symptoms.
  • n. A disease of cattle and swine caused by tapeworm larvae.
  • n. A plant disease, usually caused by fungi, that produces minute spots on leaves and stems.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Rubeola, an acute highly contagious disease, (often of childhood) caused by a virus of genus Morbillivirus, featuring a spreading red skin rash, fever, runny nose, cough and red eyes
  • n. Any of several other similar diseases, such as German measles.
  • n. Plural form of measle.
  • n. Leprosy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Leprosy; also, a leper.
  • n. A contagious viral febrile disorder commencing with catarrhal symptoms, and marked by the appearance on the third day of an eruption of distinct red circular spots, which coalesce in a crescentic form, are slightly raised above the surface, and after the fourth day of the eruption gradually decline; rubeola. It is a common childhood disease.
  • n. A disease of cattle and swine in which the flesh is filled with the embryos of different varieties of the tapeworm.
  • n. A disease of trees.
  • n. The larvæ of any tapeworm (Tænia) in the cysticerus stage, when contained in meat. Called also bladder worms.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A contagious disease of man, with an incubation period of about nine or ten days, and a period of invasion of about three or four days, in which there are pyrexia and rapid pulse, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eyes and upper air-passages, and bronchitis, followed by an eruption of small rose-colored papulæ, which arrange themselves in curvilinear forms.
  • n. An old name for several diseases of swine or sheep, caused by the scolex or measle of a tapeworm, and characterized by reddish watery pustules on the skin, cough, feverishness, and discharge at the nostrils.—3. A disease of plants; any blight of leaves appearing in spots, whether due to the attacks of insects or to the action of weather. See measle, 1.
  • n. See measle. 2.
  • n. In photography, a defect in silver-printing consisting in semi-opaque blotches caused by imperfect fixation by the insoluble silver hyposulphite visible when the prints are held to the light. In time these spots become yellow.
  • n. Same as scarlet fever.

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

  • n. an acute and highly contagious viral disease marked by distinct red spots followed by a rash; occurs primarily in children


Middle English maseles, mesels, pl. of masel, measles-spot, of Middle Low German origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Plural of Middle English masel, probably from Middle Dutch masel ("blemish") and influenced by measle. (Wiktionary)
See measle (Wiktionary)



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