Definition of syphilis noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈsɪfɪlɪs//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈsɪfɪlɪs//
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a disease that gets worse over a period of time, spreading from the sexual organs to the skin, bones, muscles and brain. It is caught by having sex with an infected person. Word Originearly 18th cent.: 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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: syphilis