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Definition of "syphilis" [syph•i•lis]

  • A chronic infectious disease caused by a spirochete (Treponema pallidum), either transmitted by direct contact, usually in sexual intercourse, or passed from mother to child in utero, and progressing through three stages characterized respectively by local formation of chancres, ulcerous skin eruptions, and systemic infection leading to general paresis. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "syphilis" in a sentence
  • "I guess the increase in syphilis is with men if you aren't seeing it in your practice?"
  • "The name syphilis comes from a poem written by the physician Girolamo Fracastoro in 1530, about a shepherd named Syphilus who offended the god Apollo and was punished with the world's first case of the pox."
  • "As we all know, the study demonstrated treating syphilis is better than not treating it."