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

  • noun Disease transmission by direct or indirect contact.
  • noun A disease that is or may be transmitted by direct or indirect contact; a contagious disease.
  • noun The direct cause, such as a bacterium or virus, of a communicable disease.
  • noun Psychology The spread of a behavior pattern, attitude, or emotion from person to person or group to group through suggestion, propaganda, rumor, or imitation.
  • noun A harmful, corrupting influence.
  • noun The tendency to spread, as of a doctrine, influence, or emotional state.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Infectious contact or communication; specifically and commonly, the communication of a disease from one person or brute to another.
  • noun Hence The communication of a state of feeling, particularly of moral feeling, or of ideas, from one person to another; especially, the communication of moral evil; propagation of mischief; infection: as, the contagion of enthusiasm; the contagion of vice or of evil example.
  • noun Contagium.
  • noun Pestilential influence; malarial or poisonous exhalations.
  • noun A contagious disease.

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

  • noun (Med.) The transmission of a disease from one person to another, by direct or indirect contact.
  • noun That which serves as a medium or agency to transmit disease; a virus produced by, or exhalation proceeding from, a diseased person, and capable of reproducing the disease.
  • noun The act or means of communicating any influence to the mind or heart.
  • noun obsolete Venom; poison.

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

  • noun A disease spread by contact
  • noun The spread or transmission of such a disease
  • noun The spread of anything harmful, as if it were such a disease
  • noun finance A situation in which small shocks, which initially affect only a few financial institutions or a particular region of an economy, spread to the rest of financial sectors and other countries whose economies were previously healthy.
  • noun finance A resulting recession or crisis developed in such manner.

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

  • noun the communication of an attitude or emotional state among a number of people
  • noun an incident in which an infectious disease is transmitted
  • noun any disease easily transmitted by contact


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

[Middle English contagioun, from Latin contāgiō, contāgiōn-, from contingere, contāct-, to touch; see contact.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English (late 14th century), from Old French, from Latin contagio ("a touching, contact, contagion") related to contingo ("touch closely")


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • "The preoccupation with local color encouraged love of surfaces, if not a satisfaction with surfaces alone; so that, though the local color novel was likely to be a more serious performance than the short story of the type, it nevertheless suffered from the contagion of triviality."

    - Carl Van Doren, 'The American Novel'.

    September 20, 2009