Share this entry

Share this page

variola

Syllabification: va·ri·o·la
Pronunciation: /vəˈrīələ, ˌverēˈōlə
 
 
/

Definition of variola in English:

noun

Medicine
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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

variolar

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Seven made rapid recoveries with minimal scarring, one showed no benefit, and one died (apparently of variolar pneumonia).

variolous

2
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.

Definition of variola in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day ingratiate
Pronunciation: inˈɡrāSHēˌāt
verb
bring oneself into favor with someone through flattery…