Definition of Typhoid Mary from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Typhoid Mary

; NAmE
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(1868-1938) the nickname given to Mary Mallon, the first person known to carry typhoid fever (= a serious disease caused by infected food or water) in the US (though she did not suffer from the disease herself). She was an Irish woman who settled in New York City as a cook and is believed to have infected 25 people in 1906-7. She refused treatment but was kept in New York's Sloane Hospital where she gave more people the disease before dying there. Americans call somebody Typhoid Mary in a humorous way if they think they should be avoided because they bring bad luck or are dangerous in some way.