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Definition of "typhus" [ty•phus]

  • Any of several forms of infectious disease caused by rickettsia, especially those transmitted by fleas, lice, or mites, and characterized generally by severe headache, sustained high fever, depression, delirium, and the eruption of red rashes on the skin. Also called prison fever, ship fever, typhus fever. (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 "typhus" in a sentence
  • "Humans can contract the endemic form of typhus from the bites of rat fleas."
  • "In contrast to the smallpox virus, which cannot survive outside living human bodies, typhus is transmitted to people by insects."
  • "That this was an outbreak of typhus is further suggested by later comparisons of it to another severe epidemic, that of the great matlazáhuatl epidemic of 1736.47 But an accurate diagnosis of the illnesses behind these epidemics may never be known."