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herpes Line breaks: her¦pes
Pronunciation: /ˈhəːpiːz/

Definition of herpes in English:


[mass noun]
Any of a group of virus diseases caused by herpesviruses, affecting the skin (often with blisters) or the nervous system.
Example sentences
  • Viruses including flu, herpes, measles and chickenpox can cause pneumonia.
  • Your pap smear can occasionally identify sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes or human papilloma virus.
  • In combination with drug therapies, it is useful in treating skin diseases, such as psoriasis, herpes, and eczema.


Pronunciation: /həːˈpɛtɪk/
Example sentences
  • The pain may precede the onset of the herpetic rash and, rarely, herpetic neuralgia can occur without the development of a rash.
  • Symptoms of herpetic encephalitis may include headache, confusion, seizures, or lethargy.
  • Adverse effects include true hypersensitivity, secondary bacterial and herpetic infection, and postinflammatory pigmentation changes.


Late Middle English (originally used also of other skin conditions): via Latin from Greek herpēs 'shingles', literally 'creeping', from herpein 'to creep'.

Definition of herpes in:
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