Share this entry

Share this page

contagion

Line breaks: con|ta¦gion
Pronunciation: /kənˈteɪdʒ(ə)n
 
/

Definition of contagion in English:

noun

[mass noun]
1The communication of disease from one person or organism to another by close contact: the rooms held no risk of contagion
More example sentences
  • All laws of quarantine have their origin and basis in the concept of disease transmission by contagion.
  • The confluence of invisibility, indeterminacy, and contagion understandably generates anxiety and encourages behaviour that reduces risk of exposure.
  • Secondly, trials using viral vectors occasionally present risks to the public through transmission of transgenes or contagion.
1.1 [count noun] dated A disease spread by close contact: through personal hygiene the spread of common contagions is discouraged
More example sentences
  • Mortality rates dropped with the control of such contagions as smallpox, but tuberculosis continued to be a major problem that retarded population growth.
  • Not everyone in a city with a smallpox contagion is going to catch it, so the overall mortality for a population center would be less than that.
  • As a consequence, they would have come in contact with a vast array of other animals at the periphery of their habitat, which conceivably could have transferred a disease contagion to the great herds of the plains.
Synonyms
contamination, infection, disease, illness, infirmity, pestilence, plague, blight
informal bug, virus
1.2 figurative The spreading of a harmful idea or theory: the contagion of disgrace [count noun]: a political fear, a contagion that spread from city to city
More example sentences
  • By the 1690s, Spinoza's ideas could be found in all the bookshops, and even polemics against him served only to spread the intellectual contagion.
  • The weeping spread like contagion to Amma and our maid.
  • I have fretted that some journalists might take it upon themselves to spread the vile contagion of conscience.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting a contagious disease): from Latin contagio(n-), from con- 'together with' + the base of tangere 'to touch'.

Words that rhyme with contagion

Bajan, Cajun, Trajan

Definition of contagion in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Noel
Pronunciation: nəʊˈɛl
noun
Christmas…