from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An infectious, usually fatal disease of warm-blooded animals, especially of cattle and sheep, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The disease can be transmitted to humans through contact with contaminated animal substances, such as hair, feces, or hides, and is characterized by ulcerative skin lesions.
  • noun A lesion caused by anthrax.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In pathology, a carbuncle of any sort. See phrases below.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of dipterous insects, giving name to a family Anthracidæ (which see): now placed in Bombyliidæ.
  • noun Lithanthrax, or pit- or stone-coal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A carbuncle.
  • noun A malignant pustule.
  • noun (Biol.) A microscopic, bacterial organism (Bacillus anthracis), resembling transparent rods. [See Illust. under Bacillus.]
  • noun An infectious disease of cattle and sheep. It is ascribed to the presence of a rod-shaped gram-positive bacterium (Bacillus anthracis), the spores of which constitute the contagious matter. It may be transmitted to man by inoculation. The spleen becomes greatly enlarged and filled with bacteria. Called also splenic fever.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun pathology An acute infectious bacterial disease of herbivores, especially sheep and cattle. It can occur in humans through contact with infected animals, tissue from infected animals, or high concentrations of anthrax spores, but is not usually spread between humans. Symptoms include lesions on the skin or in the lungs, and it is often fatal.

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

  • noun a disease of humans that is not communicable; caused by infection with Bacillus anthracis followed by septicemia
  • noun a highly infectious animal disease (especially cattle and sheep); it can be transmitted to people


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

[Middle English antrax, malignant boil, from Latin anthrax, carbuncle, from Greek.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek ἄνθραξ (anthraks).


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  • The term anthrax has now become a household word for better or for worse.

    CNN Transcript Oct 4, 2002 2002

  • The president touting once again that $1 million reward being offered by the FBI and the Postal Service for information leading to the arrest and conviction of what he called the anthrax terrorists.

    CNN Transcript Nov 3, 2001 2001

  • 'The letter also mentioned the word anthrax,' the statement said.

    The Full Feed from The Huffington Post News Editors 2011

  • West's chief of staff says the letter contained derogatory comments about the politician and contained the word anthrax.

    The Full Feed from The Huffington Post News Editors 2011

  • Author Boyle, cited above, is also the author of “Biowarfare and Terrorism” (Clarity), in which he terms the anthrax attacks of 2001 “the greatest political crime” in U.S. history and asks the question: “Could it truly be coincidental that two of the primary intended victims of the terrorist anthrax attacks --- Senators Daschle and Leahy — were holding up the speedy passage of the pre-planned USA Patriot Act after the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001 --- an Act which provided the federal government with unprecedented powers in relation to US citizens and institutions?”

    Books For Americans That Tell It Like It Is 2009

  • Could rogue elements of the American military have backed the Rhodesian Army in anthrax and cholera attacks against blacks?

    The Wrong Man 2010

  • Montgomery Advertiser – Man suspected in anthrax hoax indicted

    Daily Headlines, Thursday, 10/28/2010 2010

  • Could rogue elements of the American military have backed the Rhodesian Army in anthrax and cholera attacks against blacks?

    The Wrong Man 2010

  • The disease, anthrax, is caused by the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis.

    Anthrax Vaccine 2009

  • As someone who has worked in public health emergency preparedness, and run the CRI program for one of the cities in the program, we are a bit more prepared than you might think – The issue with respect to anthrax is you have to administer the drugs within a very narrow (48 hour) window – a difficult task but not impossible.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Biological Weapons Amnesia 2010


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  • Ghastly Tisiphone rages, and, let forth into light from Stygian gloom, drives before her Disease and Dread, while day by day, uprising, she rears still higher her greedy head. The rivers and thirsty banks and sloping hills echo to the bleating of flocks and incessant lowing of cattle.

    And now in droves she deals out death, and in the very stalls piles up the bodies, rotting with putrid foulness, till men learnt to cover them in earth and bury them in pits. For neither might the hides be used, nor could one cleanse the flesh by water or master it by fire.

    They could not even shear the fleeces, eaten up with sores and filth, nor touch the rotten web.

    Nay, if any man donned the loathsome garb, feverish blisters and foul sweat would run along his fetid limbs, and he had not long to wait before the accursed fire was feeding on his stricken limbs.

    (Virgil, Georgics III)

    December 17, 2007

  • AKA woolsorters' disease (c. 18th-19th century).

    February 25, 2010

  • Also the Greek word for dirt.

    February 25, 2010

  • Dangerous to our health? Where the anthrax used in the 2001 anthrax attacks came from is still a mystery to researchers and investigators. The anthrax spores found in the assaults are comparable to a strain grown in the laboratory of Bruce Ivins however not totally similar. Ivins committed suicide before he could be prosecuted.

    February 18, 2011

  • I used to think Tisiphone would make a great name for a cellular telephone company.

    February 18, 2011

  • Railroad telegraphers' notation meaning "When may we expect an answer?" --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 19, 2013