syphilis

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syph·i·lis

 (sĭf′ə-lĭs)
n.
An infectious disease caused by a spirochete (Treponema pallidum),usually transmitted sexually or in utero, marked initially by local formation of chancres and progressing if untreated to bacteremia and widespread organ damage, such as skin ulcerations and tabes dorsalis.

[New Latin, from Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus, "Syphilis, or the French Disease," title of a poem by Girolamo Fracastoro (1478?-1553), from Syphilus, the poem's protagonist.]
Word History: When syphilis began to ravage Europe in the late 1400s, it was described with such terms as the "Neapolitan disease," "Spanish disease," and "French disease," according to national prejudices of the person discussing the illness. In 1530, the Veronese physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro offered Europeans a mythological scapegoat in his long Latin poem Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus ("Syphilis, or the French Disease.") In the poem's opening section, Fracastoro argues that the disease was introduced to Europe by the French, but he also adds at the end of the poem two mythological tales written in the style of the Roman poet Ovid and giving supernatural accounts of its origin and supposed cures. In one of these tales, Spanish sailors who have landed in the Americas become infected with syphilis after killing Apollo's sacred parrots. In the other tale, a group of natives tell the sailors the story of a shepherd, Syphilus, who had seen his flock suffering from heat and thirst and cursed the sun god Apollo. The god then afflicted Syphilus with sores, and the scourge spread from him throughout the land. The people of the shepherd's country began to call the disease syphilis, a word formed in Latin from the shepherd's name Syphilus. Eventually, it was decided that the only way to end the plague was to sacrifice Syphilus to Apollo, but Juno interceded, had Syphilus spared, and gave the people a cure, the guaiacum tree. The source of the shepherd's name Syphilus itself is not known, but it has been suggested that Fracastoro adapted it from Ovid's Metamorphoses. In this work, Sipylus is one of the sons of Niobe, a noble woman of Asia Minor who boasted that she was more worthy of honor than the goddess Leto, mother of Artemis and Apollo. Leto had borne only two children, said Niobe, while she herself had fourteen fine sons and daughters. To punish the insult, Artemis and Apollo slew Niobe's children, and Niobe was transformed into a rock on a mountain also called Sipylus, located near the modern city of Izmir, Turkey. (Perhaps Fracastoro intended the name Syphilus to evoke associations with the wrath of Apollo, whose arrows caused plagues.) Eventually, Fracastoro came to recognize that guaiacum was not an effective cure for the "French disease," but he continued to use syphilis as a name for it in De Contagione, ("On Contagion"), an influential work in which he proposed that disease spreads by the transfer of minute disease-causing particles, either directly or by sharing contaminated objects—an important step in the development of the modern germ theory of disease.

syphilis

(ˈsɪfɪlɪs)
n
(Pathology) a venereal disease caused by infection with the microorganism Treponema pallidum: characterized by an ulcerating chancre, usually on the genitals and progressing through the lymphatic system to nearly all tissues of the body, producing serious clinical manifestations
[C18: from New Latin Syphilis (sive Morbus Gallicus) 'Syphilis (or the French disease)', title of a poem (1530) by G. Fracastoro, Italian physician and poet, in which a shepherd Syphilus is portrayed as the first victim of the disease]
syphilitic adj
ˌsyphiˈlitically adv
ˈsyphiˌloid adj

syph•i•lis

(ˈsɪf ə lɪs)

n.
a chronic infectious disease caused by a spirochete, Treponema pallidum, usu. venereal in origin but often congenital, affecting almost any body organ, esp. the genitals, skin, brain, and nervous tissue.
[< New Latin, coined by Giovanni Fracastoro (1478–1553), Italian physician, in his poem Syphilis, sive morbus Gallicus (“Syphilis, or the French Disease”)]
syph`i•lit′ic, adj.

syph·i·lis

(sĭf′ə-lĭs)
A sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacterial infection that is characterized in its early stages by sores on the genitals. If untreated, skin ulcers develop, followed by often fatal infection of major organs of the body.

syphilis

A sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.syphilis - a common venereal disease caused by the treponema pallidum spirochetesyphilis - a common venereal disease caused by the treponema pallidum spirochete; symptoms change through progressive stages; can be congenital (transmitted through the placenta)
sexually transmitted disease, social disease, STD, VD, venereal disease, venereal infection, Venus's curse, Cupid's disease, Cupid's itch, dose - a communicable infection transmitted by sexual intercourse or genital contact
primary syphilis - the first stage; characterized by a chancre at the site of infection
secondary syphilis - the second stage; characterized by eruptions of the skin and mucous membrane
tertiary syphilis - the third stage; characterized by involvement of internal organs especially the brain and spinal cord as well as the heart and liver
neurosyphilis - syphilis of the central nervous system
chancre - a small hard painless nodule at the site of entry of a pathogen (as syphilis)
Translations
الافرنجيزهريمرض فرنجي
příjicesyfilis
매독

syphilis

[ˈsɪfɪlɪs] Nsífilis f

syphilis

[ˈsɪfɪlɪs] nsyphilis f

syphilis

nSyphilis f

syphilis

[ˈsɪfɪlɪs] nsifilide f

syph·i·lis

n. sífilis, enfermedad venérea contagiosa que se manifiesta en lesiones cutáneas, usualmente transmitida por contacto directo.

syphilis

n sífilis f
References in classic literature ?
The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government.
He was kept, to be sure, rather cross and crusty; but on the whole I could see he was excellently entertained, and that a lamb-like submission and turtle- dove sensibility, while fostering his despotism more, would have pleased his judgment, satisfied his common-sense, and even suited his taste less.
She could not indeed imitate his excess of subservience, because she was a stranger to the meanness of mind, and to the constant state of timid apprehension, by which it was dictated; but she bore herself with a proud humility, as if submitting to the evil circumstances in which she was placed as the daughter of a despised race, while she felt in her mind the consciousness that she was entitled to hold a higher rank from her merit, than the arbitrary despotism of religious prejudice permitted her to aspire to.
A mind occupied with the prejudices of the old coercive despotism can naturally only see in the new a modification of the old, instead of, as my system is, an entire reversal or abandonment of it.
But in its construction the Convention immediately perceived that they must retrace their steps, and fall back from a league of friendship between sovereign States to the constituent sovereignty of the people; from power to right--from the irresponsible despotism of State sovereignty to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.
Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.
History will teach us that the former has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter, and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.
An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.
The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.
At the time I embarked on the Abraham Lincoln, the whole of this island had risen in insurrection against the despotism of the Turks.