Definition of fever in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfēvər/


1An abnormally high body temperature, usually accompanied by shivering, headache, and in severe instances, delirium: I would take aspirin to help me with the pain and reduce the fever African equine fever
More example sentences
  • Initial signs and symptoms are generalized malaise, chills, fevers, headaches, arthralgias, and a nonproductive cough.
  • A person with glandular fever is most infectious when they have a fever (high temperature).
  • Call your doctor if your child also gets a fever, diarrhea, headache, or skin rash.
feverishness, high temperature, febrility;
Medicine  pyrexia
informal temperature
1.1A state of nervous excitement or agitation: I was mystified, and in a fever of expectation
More example sentences
  • When the girls had left, Zara turned to Paz in a fever of agitation.
  • Why then, last November, did I find Georgians in such a fever of expectation?
  • He shifted in his sleep, his eyes fluttering in the fever of a dream.
1.2 [with modifier] The excitement felt by a group of people about a particular public event: election fever reaches its climax tomorrow
More example sentences
  • As election fever mounts, parties are going after one another in wars of words, and lawsuits and counter charges are flying about.
  • As election fever heats up, both sides are calling their supporters onto the streets.
  • First day of Spring and Sydney catches mainstream federal election fever via sidelines.
ferment, frenzy, furor;
ecstasy, rapture
excitement, frenzy, agitation, passion


[with object] archaic
Bring about a high body temperature or a state of nervous excitement in (someone): a heart which sin has fevered
More example sentences
  • But like boils that erupt at separate places on the skin, they are fevered into being by one invisible short-circuited wiring in the body politic beneath.
  • Not since the Pilgrim Fathers boarded a cruise ship for new lives in the redskin-ridden plains of America has such wanderlust fevered the British brain.


Old English fēfor, from Latin febris; reinforced in Middle English by Old French fievre, also from febris.

  • Fever has been with us since Anglo-Saxon times, when we borrowed the word from Latin febris. A fever makes you hot and bothered, and the word may ultimately go back to a root meaning ‘to be restless’. In herbal medicine the plant feverfew (Old English) was traditionally seen as a cure for fever. In Latin the name was febrifugia, from febris ‘fever’ and fugare ‘drive away’, from which we get the medical term febrifuge (late 17th century) for a drug that reduces fever. Closely related to fugare is fugere ‘to flee’ found in fugitive (Late Middle English), refuge (Late Middle English), and refugee (late 17th century).

Words that rhyme with fever

achiever, believer, cleaver, deceiver, diva, Eva, Geneva, griever, heaver, leaver, lever, Neva, perceiver, receiver, reiver, reliever, retriever, Shiva, underachiever, viva, weaver, weever

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fe·ver

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