Definition of syphilis in English:


Line breaks: syph|ilis
Pronunciation: /ˈsɪfɪlɪs


[mass noun]
A chronic bacterial disease that is contracted chiefly by infection during sexual intercourse, but also congenitally by infection of a developing fetus.
  • This is caused by the spirochaete Treponema pallidum. The infection progresses in four successive stages: primary syphilis, characterized by a chancre in the part infected; secondary syphilis, affecting chiefly the skin, lymph nodes, and mucous membranes; tertiary syphilis, involving the spread of tumour-like lesions (gummas) throughout the body, frequently damaging the cardiovascular and central nervous systems; quaternary syphilis neurosyphilis
More example sentences
  • Screening tests for herpes simplex virus and syphilis were negative.
  • Other less common but serious infections are also checked for, including HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B.
  • We did not identify any new cases of HIV infection or syphilis.


early 18th century: modern Latin, from Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus, the title of a Latin poem (1530), from the name of the character Syphilus, the supposed first sufferer of the disease.



Pronunciation: /-ˈlɪtɪk/
adjective & noun
More example sentences
  • Other sites include stasis ulcers, decubitus ulcers, granuloma inguinale, syphilitic lesions, and smallpox vaccination scars.
  • It was used as a device to cover syphilitic pustules and gonorrhoeal warts in the genital area.
  • Syphilis is passed from person to person by direct contact with a syphilitic ulcer.

Definition of syphilis in:

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Pronunciation: əˈnämələs
deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected