[syn: contagion, infection]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Contagion \Con*ta"gion\ (k[o^]n*t[=a]"j[u^]n), n. [L. contagio:
cf. F. contagion. See Contact.]
1. (Med.) The transmission of a disease from one person to
another, by direct or indirect contact.
Note: The term has been applied by some to the action of
miasmata arising from dead animal or vegetable matter,
bogs, fens, etc., but in this sense it is now
And will he steal out of his wholesome bed
To dare the vile contagion of the night? --Shak.
2. That which serves as a medium or agency to transmit
disease; a virus produced by, or exhalation proceeding
from, a diseased person, and capable of reproducing the
3. The act or means of communicating any influence to the
mind or heart; as, the contagion of enthusiasm. "The
contagion of example." --Eikon Basilike.
When lust . . .
Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
The soul grows clotted by contagion. --Milton.
4. Venom; poison. [Obs.] "I'll touch my point with this
Syn: See Infection.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: any disease easily transmitted by contact [syn: contagious
2: an incident in which an infectious disease is transmitted
[syn: infection, contagion, transmission]
3: the communication of an attitude or emotional state among a
number of people; "a contagion of mirth"; "the infection of
his enthusiasm for poetry" [syn: contagion, infection]