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Related to murrain: blains


1. Any of various highly infectious diseases of cattle, as anthrax.
2. Obsolete A pestilence or dire disease.

[Middle English moreine, from Old French morine, from Medieval Latin morina, from Latin morī, to die; see mer- in Indo-European roots.]
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.


1. (Veterinary Science) any plaguelike disease in cattle
2. (Pathology) a plague
[C14: from Old French morine, from morir to die, from Latin morī]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈmɜr ɪn)

1. a disease or pestilence of domestic animals or plants.
2. Obs. a plague or pestilence.
[1300–50; Middle English < Middle French morine a plague =mor(ir) to die (« Latin morī) + -ine -ine3]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.murrain - any disease of domestic animals that resembles a plague
animal disease - a disease that typically does not affect human beings
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
"Now a murrain seize thee and thy news, thou scurvy dog," quoth the Tinker, "for thou speakest but ill of good men.
"Nay," quoth the Tinker--for, by roaming the country, he had learned what dogs were--"take thou what thou wilt have, and let me depart in peace, and may a murrain go with thee.
"A murrain seize you!" roared the tinker commencing afresh.
'A murrain on the young devils!' cried the stranger; 'I speak of one; a meek-looking, pale-faced boy, who was apprenticed down here, to a coffin-maker--I wish he had made his coffin, and screwed his body in it--and who afterwards ran away to London, as it was supposed.
That is why I say that the murrain was the best friend that the borel folk ever had."
But this morning he was in a mood more becoming a man of business, and in the course of his ride along the Basset lanes, with their deep ruts,--lying so far away from a market-town that the labor of drawing produce and manure was enough to take away the best part of the profits on such poor land as that parish was made of,--he got up a due amount of irritation against Moss as a man without capital, who, if murrain and blight were abroad, was sure to have his share of them, and who, the more you tried to help him out of the mud, would sink the further in.
Palfrey had been losing money of late years, not being able quite to recover his feet after the terrible murrain which forced him to borrow, his family were far from considering themselves on the same level even as the old-established tradespeople with whom they visited.
An' I know one thing, as if trouble was to come, an' I was to be laid up i' my bed, an' the children was to die--as there's no knowing but what they will--an' the murrain was to come among the cattle again, an' everything went to rack an' ruin, I say we might be glad to get sight o' Dinah's cap again, wi' her own face under it, border or no border.
None the less, if, by any chance, O man from Jullundur, thou rememberest what thou hast seen, either among the elders sitting under the village tree, or in thine own house, or in company of thy priest when he blesses thy cattle, a murrain will come among the buffaloes, and a fire in thy thatch, and rats in the corn-bins, and the curse of our Gods upon thy fields that they may be barren before thy feet and after thy ploughshare.' This was part of an old curse picked up from a fakir by the Taksali Gate in the days of Kim's innocence.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson's well-remunerated scribblings in The Telegraph have this week included references to Scylla and Charybdis, Moses and Aaron, cattle murrain and things being "pre-Cambrian".