Definition of contagion in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈteɪdʒ(ə)n/


[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.
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.


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
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