Definitions

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

  • n. Chronic, often extreme enlargement and hardening of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue, especially of the legs and external genitals, resulting from lymphatic obstruction and usually caused by infestation of the lymph glands and vessels with a filarial worm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A complication of chronic filariasis, in which nematode worms block the lymphatic vessels, usually in the legs or scrotum, causing extreme enlargement of the infected area.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A disease of the skin, in which it become enormously thickened, and is rough, hard, and fissured, like an elephant's hide.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name given to several forms of skin-disease.

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

  • n. hypertrophy of certain body parts (usually legs and scrotum); the end state of the disease filariasis

Etymologies

Latin elephantiāsis, from Greek : elephās, elephant-, elephant + -iāsis, -iasis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin elephas, +‎ -iasis. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Nowadays, "elephantiasis" is sometimes used for severe lymphedema (a build-up of lymphatic fluid in the leg), sometimes for the specific tropical form of lymphedoma, lymphatic filariasis, caused by a parasitic infestation.

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  • The first accurate ideas in reference to elephantiasis arabum are given by Rhazes, Haly-Abas, and Avicenna, and it is possibly on this account that the disease received the name elephantiasis arabum.

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  • The new commitments aim to eradicate or reduce leprosy, lymphatic filariasis (also known as elephantiasis), blinding trachoma, sleeping sickness, Guinea worm, schistosomiasis (also called bilharzia), river blindness, soil-transmitted helminthes, Chagas disease and visceral leishmaniasis.

    Agencies, Drug Makers, Gates Target 10 Diseases

  • Lymphatic Filariasis: Also known as elephantiasis.

    Agencies, Drug Makers, Gates Target 10 Diseases

  • In China's Pearl River Delta, 300,000 women migrant workers have been trained in labor rights, legal services and life skills, thanks to San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. And in Africa, Asia and other tropical regions, new cases of lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis--an incurable disease that puts 1 billion people at risk of disabling deformities--may be eliminated by 2020, in great part because of a billion-dollar donation by London-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

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  • Later symptoms include scrotal swelling and permanent swelling of the limbs (a condition commonly referred to as elephantiasis) as a result of the collections of fluid in cells, tissues, or body cavities brought about by adult worms residing in the nodes and vessels of the lymphatic system and restricting the flow of lymph.

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  • Soon after this, in 1879, the first conclusive proof of the direct transmission of a disease from man-to-man was presented by the father of tropical medicine, Sir Patrick Manson, with regard to filaria, a blood infection that often causes the repulsive condition known as elephantiasis and which the mosquito takes from man and after a short time gives over to another subject.

    Popular Science Monthly Oct, Nov, Dec, 1915 — Volume 86

  • The most common of these is that hideous and loathsome disease known as elephantiasis in which certain parts of the patient becomes greatly swollen and distorted.

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  • Many were afflicted with that dreadful complaint known as elephantiasis -- their legs being swollen to an enormous size.

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  • Better known as elephantiasis, the mosquito-borne worm disease incubates for years until the worms grow large enough to cause massive swelling.

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