Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An acute disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by a species of hemolytic streptococcus and marked by localized inflammation and fever. Also called Saint Anthony's fire.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. severe skin disease caused by streptococcus infection in surface and surrounding tissue, marked by continued spreading inflammation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. St. Anthony's fire; a febrile disease accompanied with a diffused red edematous inflammation of the skin, which, starting usually from a single point, spreads gradually over its surface. It is often accompanied by severe constitutional symptoms. It is caused by a group A hemolytic streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes), is contagious, and formerly often occured epidemically.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A disease characterized by a diffuse inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous areolar tissue, spreading gradually from its initial site and accompanied by fever and other general disturbance. It seems to be caused by a micrococcus. Also called St. Anthony's fire, and popularly in Great Britain rose.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an acute streptococcal infection characterized by deep-red inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes

Etymologies

Middle English erisipila, from Latin erysipelas, from Greek erusipelas : erusi-, red; see reudh- in Indo-European roots + -pelas, skin; see pel-3 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek ἐρυσίπελας, from ἐρυσι- (erysi-), from ἐρυθρός, red, and *πελ-, *pel (compare Latin pellis, skin) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I got it just in time because that November I somehow managed to contract a bacteria called erysipelas, which decided that what it'd really like to do was live in my face.

    Jacob Dickerman: Who Needs Health Reform?

  • That horse died from swine erysipelas, which is a disease you get only in pigs. '

    Whip Hand

  • [37] I speak here of the true erysipelas, of course, and not of the chronic eruption of the face, &c., erroneously called erysipelas by many.

    Hydriatic treatment of Scarlet Fever in its Different Forms

  • There is a young lady staying at the hotel, afflicted with what her friends call erysipelas, but which is probably scrofula.

    Passages from the American Notebooks, Volume 2.

  • It is commonly held, I believe, that alcoholic stimulants are of especial value in all forms of septic inflammation, such as erysipelas, pyæmia, septicæmia, and hectic fever.

    Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why What Medical Writers Say

  • In some of the diseases of this genus the pulse is strong, full, and hard, constituting the sensitive irritated fever, as described in the preceding genus; as in one kind of erysipelas, which requires repeated venesection.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Or, the Laws of Organic Life

  • Bacterial skin infections, such as erysipelas or cellulitis, are characterized by fever and a painful erythematous rash.

    Naturejobs - All Jobs

  • Otherwise, she said, bacteria could penetrate the skin from the bite, or from the person scratching the bite, and cause an infection such as erysipelas, which requires medical treatment.

    The Earth Times Online Newspaper

  • He also points out that there may be a similar chain of events in other infective conditions such as erysipelas and typhoid fever, but as he insists that, until Abbott's experiments on the streptococcus, [A] staphylococcus [A] and bacterium coli, [A] in alcoholized and non-alcoholized animals, little attempt has been made to indicate the mechanism, or, at any rate, the process by which alcoholized individuals are rendered more susceptible to the invasion and action of micro-organisms.

    Alcohol: A Dangerous and Unnecessary Medicine, How and Why What Medical Writers Say

  • When the external skin is the seat of inflammation, and produces sensitive irritated fever, no collection of matter is formed, as when a phlegmon is situated in the cellular membrane beneath the skin; but the cuticle rises as beneath a blister-plaster, and becomes ruptured; and a yellow material oozes out, and becomes inspissated, and lies upon its surface; as is seen in this kind of erysipelas, and in the confluent small-pox; or if the new vessels are reabsorbed the cuticle peels off in scales.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Or, the Laws of Organic Life

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