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

  • noun An acute, contagious viral disease, usually occurring in childhood and characterized by eruption of red spots on the skin, fever, and catarrhal symptoms.
  • noun Black measles.
  • noun Any of several other diseases, especially German measles, that cause similar but milder symptoms.
  • noun A condition of pork or beef caused by the presence of tapeworm larvae.
  • noun A plant disease, usually caused by fungi, that produces small spots on leaves, stems, or fruit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun See measle. 2.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Same as scarlet fever.

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

  • noun (Med.) 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.
  • noun (Veter. Med.) A disease of cattle and swine in which the flesh is filled with the embryos of different varieties of the tapeworm.
  • noun obsolete A disease of trees.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The larvæ of any tapeworm (Tænia) in the cysticerus stage, when contained in meat. Called also bladder worms.
  • noun A mild contagious viral disease, which may cause birth defects if contracted by a pregnant woman during early pregnancy; also called rubella.
  • noun obsolete Leprosy; also, a leper.

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

  • noun obsolete Plural form of measle.
  • noun obsolete Leprosy.
  • noun 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
  • noun Any of several other similar diseases, such as German measles.

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

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


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

[Middle English maseles, mesels, pl. of masel, measles-spot, of Middle Low German origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

See measle

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Plural of Middle English masel, probably from Middle Dutch masel ("blemish") and influenced by measle.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word measles.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.