Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.


1. An acute infectious disease of the small intestine, caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, severe dehydration, and depletion of electrolytes. Also called Asiatic cholera.
2. Either of two unrelated diseases of domestic animals, fowl cholera or classical swine fever (hog cholera), that are often marked by severe diarrhea.

[Latin, cholera, jaundice; see choler.]

chol′e·ra′ic (-ə-rā′ĭk) adj.
chol′e·roid′ (-ə-roid′) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.