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 periodicals archive ?
Saint Mary with the Holy Child is throwing spears of light at syphilitics, represented as individuals with multiple sores and ulcers.
50) Referring to a proverb apparently popularized in the Hospital de Santiago, "the poxed are noble ecclesiastics and sweet-sounding birds," Justina argues this was said because syphilitics have no problem speaking of themselves and others publicly and "with no care miss mass and without shame their reputation.
The plan aims to curb the spread of the disease over the next five years and reduce the number of early-stage syphilitics and eliminate syphilis babies within 10 years.
Far from being the nation's earnest defender, Petrie is so nauseated by his ennui back in Land's End that he'd do nearly anything to escape "the Uriah Heeps of my clientele, the recidivist syphilitics and low-rent junkies," and in any case he's usually fixated on his next high, pretty much to the exclusion of everything else.
8) Instead, moral and medical authorities alike insisted that syphilitics be made to suffer like penitents in order to purify the spirit and the flesh.
Frequently abandoned by doctors, syphilitics often relied on surgeons, barbers, or others even less proficient for treatment.
The study involved a policy of the Stanford Clinic to withhold treatment intentionally from late latent syphilitics above the age of fifty years, starting approximately in 1935.
He argues that it was the rise of racial science and the reliance upon "appearance as a means of determining who was fit and who was ill, who could reproduce and 'improve' the race and who should be excluded and condemned" that inspired syphilitics, Jews, blacks and other people of color to attempt to remake their bodies, obliterate the signs of their ethnic identity and pass themselves off as "normal" and "healthy":
Sams addicts, too, can smile once more at his zeal for codes and ciphers, at his invention of new words when others fail him ('counterfactual', 'preconviction', 'wisp of the will') and his diligent search for syphilitics among his dramatis personae.
The Columbian exchange debate over the New World origins of syphilis, the derivation of the word syphilis from a sixteenth century Latin poem, and famous European syphilitics can all be useful to get a good "ick" response that so enlivens the undergraduate lecture.
Anatomic evidence of aortitis was found to be 25-35 percent more common in autopsied syphilitics, while evidence of central nervous system syphilis was found in 4 percent of the patients.
Neurosyphilis may occur early, being either asymptomatic or in the form of syphilitic meningitis, or late as meningovascular syphilis, general paresis, or tabes dorsalis, a condition where the spinal column is affected.