from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A highly contagious disease of the respiratory system, usually affecting children, that is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and is characterized in its advanced stage by spasms of coughing interspersed with deep, noisy inspirations. Also called pertussis.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A contagious disease of the respiratory system that usually affects children; caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. In the advanced stage it is characterised by spasms of coughing followed by a whooping sound during the intake of breath.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- a violent, convulsive cough, returning at longer or shorter intervals, and consisting of several expirations, followed by a sonorous inspiration, or whoop; chin cough; hooping cough.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An acute contagious disease of childhood, from which, however, adults are not always exempt, characterized by recurrent attacks of a peculiar spasmodic cough.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a disease of the respiratory mucous membrane
whoop (sound) + -ing + cough; from the characteristic sounding cough that is a major symptom (Wiktionary)