What does measles mean?

Definitions for measles
ˈmi zəlzmeasles

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word measles.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. measles, rubeola, morbillinoun

    an acute and highly contagious viral disease marked by distinct red spots followed by a rash; occurs primarily in children


  1. Measlesnoun

    (Med.) A contagious viral febrile disorder commencing with catarrhal symptoms, and marked by the appearance on the third day of an eruption of distinct red circular spots, which coalesce in a crescentic form, are slightly raised above the surface, and after the fourth day of the eruption gradually decline; rubeola. It is a common childhood disease.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. MEASLESnoun

    Etymology: morbilli, Latin.

    My lungs
    Coin words till their decay, against those measles,
    Which we disdain should tetter us, yet seek
    The very way to catch them. William Shakespeare, Coriolanus.

    Before the plague of London, inflammations of the lungs were rife and mortal, as likewise the measles. Arbuthnot.

    One, when he had an unlucky old grange, would needs sell it, and proclaimed the virtues of it; nothing ever thrived on it, no owner of it ever died in his bed; the swine died of the measles, and the sheep of the rot. Ben Jonson, Discovery.

    Fruit-bearers are often infected with the measles, by being scorched with the sun. John Mortimer, Husbandry.


  1. Measles

    Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days. Initial symptoms typically include fever, often greater than 40 °C (104 °F), cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes. Small white spots known as Koplik's spots may form inside the mouth two or three days after the start of symptoms. A red, flat rash which usually starts on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body typically begins three to five days after the start of symptoms. Common complications include diarrhea (in 8% of cases), middle ear infection (7%), and pneumonia (6%). These occur in part due to measles-induced immunosuppression. Less commonly seizures, blindness, or inflammation of the brain may occur. Other names include morbilli, rubeola, red measles, and English measles. Both rubella, also known as German measles, and roseola are different diseases caused by unrelated viruses.Measles is an airborne disease which spreads easily from one person to the next through the coughs and sneezes of infected people. It may also be spread through direct contact with mouth or nasal secretions. It is extremely contagious: nine out of ten people who are not immune and share living space with an infected person will be infected. Furthermore, measles's reproductive number estimates vary beyond the frequently cited range of 12 to 18. The NIH quote this 2017 paper saying: "[a] review in 2017 identified feasible measles R0 values of 3.7–203.3". People are infectious to others from four days before to four days after the start of the rash. While often regarded as a childhood illness, it can affect people of any age. Most people do not get the disease more than once. Testing for the measles virus in suspected cases is important for public health efforts. Measles is not known to occur in other animals.Once a person has become infected, no specific treatment is available, although supportive care may improve outcomes. Such care may include oral rehydration solution (slightly sweet and salty fluids), healthy food, and medications to control the fever. Antibiotics should be prescribed if secondary bacterial infections such as ear infections or pneumonia occur. Vitamin A supplementation is also recommended for children. Among cases reported in the U.S. between 1985 and 1992, death occurred in only 0.2% of cases, but may be up to 10% in people with malnutrition. Most of those who die from the infection are less than five years old.The measles vaccine is effective at preventing the disease, is exceptionally safe, and is often delivered in combination with other vaccines. Vaccination resulted in an 80% decrease in deaths from measles between 2000 and 2017, with about 85% of children worldwide having received their first dose as of 2017. Measles affects about 20 million people a year, primarily in the developing areas of Africa and Asia. It is one of the leading vaccine-preventable disease causes of death. In 1980, 2.6 million people died from measles, and in 1990, 545,000 died due to the disease; by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000. Despite these trends, rates of disease and deaths increased from 2017 to 2019 due to a decrease in immunization.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Measlesnoun

    leprosy; also, a leper

  2. Measlesnoun

    a contagious febrile disorder commencing with catarrhal symptoms, and marked by the appearance on the third day of an eruption of distinct red circular spots, which coalesce in a crescentic form, are slightly raised above the surface, and after the fourth day of the eruption gradually decline; rubeola

  3. Measlesnoun

    a disease of cattle and swine in which the flesh is filled with the embryos of different varieties of the tapeworm

  4. Measlesnoun

    a disease of trees

  5. Measlesnoun

    the larvae of any tapeworm (Taenia) in the cysticerus stage, when contained in meat. Called also bladder worms

  6. Etymology: [From 1st Measle.]


  1. Measles

    Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a generalized, maculopapular, erythematous skin rash, the symptom for which measles is best known. Measles is spread through respiration, and is highly contagious—90% of people without immunity sharing living space with an infected person will catch it. An asymptomatic incubation period occurs nine to twelve days from initial exposure. The period of infectivity has not been definitively established, some saying it lasts from two to four days prior, until two to five days following the onset of the rash, whereas others say it lasts from two to four days prior until the complete disappearance of the rash.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Measles

    mē′zlz, n.sing. a contagious fever accompanied with eruptions of small red spots upon the skin: a disease of swine and cattle, caused by larval tapeworms: a disease of trees, the leaves being covered with spots.—adjs. Mea′sled, Mea′sly, infected with measles: good for nothing, miserable.—n. Meas′liness.—German measles, a name somewhat loosely used of a disease, resembling measles, but mostly less prolonged and severe. [Dut. maselen, measles, from Old Dut. masche, a spot, cog. with Old High Ger. māsā, a spot; Ger. masern, measles.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Measles

    A highly contagious infectious disease caused by MORBILLIVIRUS, common among children but also seen in the nonimmune of any age, in which the virus enters the respiratory tract via droplet nuclei and multiplies in the epithelial cells, spreading throughout the MONONUCLEAR PHAGOCYTE SYSTEM.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Measles is ranked #84136 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Measles surname appeared 223 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Measles.

    93.2% or 208 total occurrences were White.
    4% or 9 total occurrences were of two or more races.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce measles?

How to say measles in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of measles in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of measles in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of measles in a Sentence

  1. Justin Lessler:

    It could be a long time before the health care systems in the region recover from this, while the downstream effects of Ebola are many, we can actually do something about measles relatively cheaply and easily, saving many lives by restarting derailed vaccination campaigns.

  2. Anne Schuchat:

    I wouldn’t expect the Super Bowl to be a place where many unvaccinated people are congregating, no special precautions are being taken. If people are having fever or rash, they need to let their doctor or nurse know about that, and clinicians caring for people with rash or fever need to ‘think measles.’.

  3. William Schaffner:

    Particularly if you get into the gray-haired group —that group has all seen measles, they know about it and respect it and even, in a sense, fear it.

  4. Tom Talbot:

    Given the rise in measles cases in the U.S. and the risk of transmission in healthcare facilities, the problems with pertussis, and the decreasing rate of immunization of health care workers against hepatitis B, this expansion is essential.

  5. Martin Cetron:

    This isn't anywhere near in the same category as measles or flu.

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Translations for measles

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"measles." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 21 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/measles>.

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    actively or fully engaged or occupied
    • A. reassuring
    • B. busy
    • C. sought
    • D. opaque

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