measles

measles
[14] Measles means literally ‘spots, blemishes’. The word was originally borrowed from Middle Dutch māsel ‘blemish’, which went back to a prehistoric Germanic base *mas- ‘spot, blemish, excrescence’. The earliest English form of the word was thus maseles, and the change to measles (which began in the 14th century) may have been due to association with the now obsolete mesel ‘leper’, a descendant of Latin miser ‘wretched, unfortunate’ (source of English misery).

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

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  • Measles — Classification and external resources ICD 10 B05 ICD …   Wikipedia

  • Measles — Mea sles, n.; pl. in form, but used as singular in senses 1, 2, & 3. [D. mazelen; akin to G. masern, pl., and E. mazer, and orig. meaning, little spots. See {Mazer}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Med.) A contagious viral febrile disorder commencing with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • measles — infectious disease, early 14c., plural of Middle English masel, perhaps from M.Du. masel blemish (in plural measles ) or M.L.G. masele, from P.Gmc. *mas spot, blemish (Cf. O.H.G. masla blood blister, Ger. Masern measles ). There might have been… …   Etymology dictionary

  • measles — is normally treated as a singular noun, although occasionally it is used as a plural, sometimes preceded by the: A consultant said measles was on the increase / The measles have left him feeling weak …   Modern English usage

  • measles — [mē′zəlz] n. [ME maseles, pl. of masel, measle, spot (? infl. by mesel, leper < OFr < L misellus, wretch < miser, wretched), akin to OHG māsa, a spot, Ger masern, measles] 1. a) an acute, infectious, communicable disease caused by a… …   English World dictionary

  • Measles — Mea sles, n. [From 1st {Measle}.] Leprosy; also, a leper. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • measles — ► PLURAL NOUN (treated as sing. ) ▪ an infectious disease spread by a virus, causing fever and a red rash. ORIGIN probably from Dutch masel spot …   English terms dictionary

  • measles — /mee zeuhlz/, n. 1. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) Pathol. a. an acute infectious disease occurring mostly in children, characterized by catarrhal and febrile symptoms and an eruption of small red spots; rubeola. b. any of certain other eruptive… …   Universalium

  • Measles — An acute and highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and a spreading skin rash. Measles, also known as rubeola, is a potentially disastrous disease. It can be complicated by ear infections, pneumonia,… …   Medical dictionary

  • measles — noun plural but singular or plural in construction Etymology: Middle English meseles, plural of mesel measles, spot characteristic of measles; akin to Middle Dutch masel spot characteristic of measles Date: 14th century 1. a. an acute contagious… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • measles — n. 1) to catch, come down with (the) measles 2) an epidemic; outbreak of measles * * * [ miːz(ə)lz] come down with (the) measles outbreak of measles an epidemic to catch …   Combinatory dictionary

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