Definition of variola in English:

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Pronunciation: /vəˈrʌɪələ/


Technical term for smallpox.
Example sentences
  • Other viruses in this group that can cause infection in humans include variola, vaccinia (used in smallpox vaccine), and cowpox viruses.
  • No current technology is capable of discriminating variola from vaccinia (ie, the acute infectious disease caused by smallpox vaccination).
  • Stocks of variola, the virus that causes the disease, remained in two locations - one in the United States and one in Russia.



Example sentences
  • Seven made rapid recoveries with minimal scarring, one showed no benefit, and one died (apparently of variolar pneumonia).


Pronunciation: /vəˈrʌɪələs/
adjective ( archaic)
Example sentences
  • In about 1721, local minister Cotton Mather - perhaps best known for his role in the witchcraft trials - was among the first in America to experiment with variolous inoculation for smallpox.
  • During the time she remained in the infected room, variolous matter was inserted into both her arms, but without any further effect than in the preceding case.
  • In order to determine this, a non-vaccinated child was inoculated with the serous fluid obtained from these variolous papules, and the result was a generalized, confluent small-pox.


Late 18th century: from medieval Latin, literally 'pustule, pock', from Latin varius 'diverse'.

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