Definitions

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

  • n. A disease such as chickenpox or smallpox, characterized by purulent skin eruptions that may leave pockmarks.
  • n. Syphilis.
  • n. Archaic Misfortune and calamity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A disease characterized by purulent skin eruptions that may leave pockmarks.
  • n. Syphilis.
  • v. To infect with the pox, or syphilis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Strictly, a disease by pustules or eruptions of any kind, but chiefly or wholly restricted to three or four diseases, -- the smallpox, the chicken pox, and the vaccine and the venereal diseases.
  • transitive v. To infect with the pox, or syphilis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To communicate the pox or venereal disease to.
  • n. A disease characterized by eruptive pocks or pustules upon the body.

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

  • n. a common venereal disease caused by the treponema pallidum spirochete; symptoms change through progressive stages; can be congenital (transmitted through the placenta)
  • n. a contagious disease characterized by purulent skin eruptions that may leave pock marks

Etymologies

Alteration of pocks, from Middle English, pl. of pocke, pokke; see pock.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English pokkes, plural of the ancestor of pock (which see). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Well, to repine is to be sad, or to yearn. And the phrase "a pox on" is basically used to curse something. So I'll guess that a modern English translation might be "to hell with sadness and yearning."

    Though if it's a jaunty little dance number, I'm probably wrong.

    November 3, 2010

  • William Turner (1775 -1851) wrote a piece for recorder called "A pox on repining" - Can anyone enlighten me as to what this means??

    November 3, 2010