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

  • n. An inflammatory disorder of the lower intestinal tract, usually caused by a bacterial, parasitic, or protozoan infection and resulting in pain, fever, and severe diarrhea, often accompanied by the passage of blood and mucus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A disease characterised by inflammation of the intestines, especially the colon (large intestine), accompanied by pus (white blood cells) in the feces, fever, pain in the abdomen, low volume of diarrhea, and possible blood in the feces.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A disease attended with inflammation and ulceration of the colon and rectum, and characterized by griping pains, constant desire to evacuate the bowels, and the discharge of mucus and blood.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A disease characterized by inflammation of the mucous membrane of the large intestine, mucous, bloody, and difficult evacuations, and more or less fever.
  • n. Recent researches have shown that there are at least two diseases, and possibly more, having the same general symptoms and still grouped under the common designation of dysentery. One form, distinguished as bacillary dysentery, is characterized by the presence of a specific bacillus, Bacillus dysenteriæ or Shiga's bacillus (so named after the Japanese physician who discovered it). Another form, amebic dysentery, is associated with the presence in the intestine of a unicellular animal micro-organism, Amœba dysenteriæ. This form is less acute in its onset than bacillary dysentery, but may continue for months or even years, causing great emaciation and anemia, and not infrequently leading to abscess of the liver.

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

  • n. an infection of the intestines marked by severe diarrhea


Middle English dissenterie, from Old French, from Latin dysenteria, from Greek dusenteriā : dus-, dys- + enteron, intestine; see en in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French dissenterie, from Latin dysenteria, from Ancient Greek δυσεντερία (dusenteria), from δυσ- (dus-, "bad") + ἔντερα (entera, "bowels"). (Wiktionary)


  • Called again in the evening to see my patient, and found his Excellency suffering from what he called dysentery, and administered a couple of small opium pills.

    Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846

  • Death from malnutrition and dysentery is extremely unpleasant, and the victim suffers not only from the discomfort of dysentery, but also from severe edema, and many times from halucinations.

    Williams, Richard F. "Top"

  • Death from malnutrition and dysentery is extremely unpleasant, and the victim suffers not only from the discomfort of dysentery, but also from severe edema, and many times from halucinations. Williams 'remains were returned in 1985, after 17 years.

    Sykes, Derri

  • Tropical dysentery is a third disease due to a protozoa parasite, the amoeba coli taken in with impure water.

    Some of the Triumphs of Modern Medicine

  • Saaaaaaaaay … seeing as you’re dissenting in your commentary … perhaps you should just merge the two … we’ll call it dysentery …

    Think Progress » After warmest January in history, Vancouver airlifts in snow for Winter Olympics.

  • Whitaker has been warned about getting dysentery from the Vietnamese food and cooking.


  • Second leading cause is Pneumonia/Acute Respiratory Infections, followed by Diarrheal Diseases, Anemia (which is often caused by malaria or dysentery, which is a diarrheal disease), malnutrition, and a few HIV/AIDS cases.

    Archive 2005-07-01

  • Her disease was the malignant dysentery, which is peculiar to the climate.

    Daughters of the Cross: or Woman's Mission

  • Hive bees are likewise fairly free from parasites, unless, indeed, their so-called dysentery is caused by some minute microbe.

    Field and Hedgerow Being the Last Essays of Richard Jefferies

  • "Perhaps I may be wrongly informed," replied the doctor; "but I have heard that we were ordered to the West Indies; now, if so, every one knows, that although you may eat salt pork there occasionally without danger, in all tropical climates, and especially the West Indies, two or three days 'living upon this meat will immediately produce dysentery, which is always fatal in that climate."

    Peter Simple


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