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

  • noun Abnormally high body temperature.
  • noun Any of various diseases characterized by abnormally high body temperature.
  • noun A condition of heightened activity or excitement.
  • noun A contagious, usually short-lived enthusiasm or craze.
  • intransitive verb To effect fever in.
  • intransitive verb To be or become feverish.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In pathol.: A temperature of the body higher than the normal temperature, appearing as a symptom of disease; pyrexia.
  • noun The group of symptoms consisting of pyrexia and the symptoms usually associated with it.
  • noun A disease in which pyrexia is a prominent symptom: as, typhoid fever, scarlet fever, etc.
  • noun Heat; agitation; excitement by anything that strongly affects the passions: as, a fever of suspense; a fever of contention.
  • noun Typhoid fever.
  • noun Digestive disturbance with rise of temperature and vomiting of bile.
  • noun Same as pemphigus.
  • noun Catarrh of the upper air-passages with fever.
  • noun Typhoid fever of a mild form.
  • noun Typhoid fever.
  • noun The pest.
  • noun Remittent fever.
  • noun Acute gastritis.
  • noun Relapsing fever.
  • noun Fever incident to some local inflammation.
  • noun Anthrax.
  • noun Simple continued fever.
  • noun Cattle-plague.
  • noun Typhoid fever.
  • noun Pyrexia of purely nervous origin.
  • noun Yellow fever.
  • noun Yellow fever.
  • noun The plague.
  • noun Typhus fever.
  • noun Typhoid fever.
  • noun Relapsing fever.
  • noun Ardent continued fever.
  • noun Remittent fever.
  • noun yellow fever in new-comers.
  • noun Relapsing fever.
  • noun Cerebrospinal meningitis.
  • noun A period of incubation of two weeks, more or less, terminating in prodromata lasting for a few days, and consisting in a general tired feeling and indisposition to exertion of any kind, lossof appetite, usually some constipation, slight headache, and pains in the limbs.
  • noun A period of invasion of a week or less, characterized by a gradually increasing temperature, with morning remissions and evening exacerbations, want of appetite, thirst, dry and coated tongue, frequent pulse, headache, often nose-bleed, usually constipation, often slight diarrhea, slightly tympanitic abdomen, with perhaps some tenderness and gurgling in the right iliac region, some enlargement of the spleen, perhaps slight delirium at night, and some bronchitis.
  • noun A period of continued pyrexia (fever) in which the temperature ceases to rise, and in which its daily variations are less. This period (fastigium) lasts for a week or two. The want of appetite, thirst, dry tongue, frequent pulse, headache, and bronchitis continue or are increased. The tympanitis, splenic enlargement, and delirium become more pronounced. Three or four soft yellow stools are passed daily. About the beginning of this period an eruption of small, pink, slightly raised spots appears on the skin, especially of the back and abdomen.
  • noun A period of defervescence, in which the fever gradually disappears and all the symptoms improve. This may last about a week. Cases vary much from this typical progress, and may be marked in addition by intestinal hemorrhage, perforation of the intestinal wall with collapse and peritonitis, thrombosis of the larger veins, especially the femoral, pneumonia, lobular and (rarely) lobar, or meningitis. Relapses (after a normal temperature has been reached) and recrudescences (before the fever has entirely disappeared) are not very uncommon. The mortality varies, but the average of recent reports is not far from 10 per cent. The main anatomical features are inflammation of Peyer's patches and of the solitary glands of the small and sometimes of the large intestine, with inflammation of the mesenteric lymphatic glands. Persons between fifteen and thirty years of age seem to be most frequently attacked. A previous attack produces a certain but not complete protection. The contagium seems to be given off from the sick mainly by the stools. The contamination of food and drink seems to be the most important mode of ingress. Personal contact does not materially increase exposure. Typhoid fever is now believed to be caused by a microscopic parasitic organism or bacillus, in length about one third the diameter of a red blood-corpuscle, in thickness about one third of its length, with rounded ends, mobile, forming spores at a temperature between 30° and 42°C., but not at lower temperatures, and forming minute brownish-yellow colonies on gelatin, which it does not soften. For synonyms, see phrases above.
  • noun A smith; an artisan.
  • To put in a fever; infect with fever.
  • To contract or develop fever.

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

  • transitive verb rare To put into a fever; to affect with fever.
  • noun (Med.) A diseased state of the system, marked by increased heat, acceleration of the pulse, and a general derangement of the functions, including usually, thirst and loss of appetite. Many diseases, of which fever is the most prominent symptom, are denominated fevers
  • noun Excessive excitement of the passions in consequence of strong emotion; a condition of great excitement.
  • noun etc. See under Brain, Continued, etc.


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

[Middle English, from Old English fefor and from Old French fievre, both from Latin febris.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French fievre, reinforced by native Old English fēfor, from Latin febris ("a fever"), from ferveō ("to be hot, burn, boil"); or perhaps literally 'a trembling', akin to Greek φέβεσθαι (febesthai, "to flee affrighted"), φόβος (phobos, "flight, panic fear, fear, terror").


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  • Therefore, in the following pages I am giving an extensive description of fever from a biological standpoint, together with its dietetic treatment -- not _cure_ for, as will be seen, _fever in itself is not a disease, but the attempt of nature to get rid of a disease_.

    Valere Aude Dare to Be Healthy, Or, The Light of Physical Regeneration Louis Dechmann

  • I. ii.209 (16,3) [Not a soul _But felt a fever of the mad_] In all the later editions this is changed to a _fever of the mind_, without reason or authority, nor is any notice given of an alteration.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies Samuel Johnson 1746

  • After a long winter and cabin fever is at its utmost limits, my wife's NAG goes into high gear.

    Look at Flowers, Catch More Fish 2009

  • After a long winter and cabin fever is at its utmost limits, my wife's NAG goes into high gear.

    Look at Flowers, Catch More Fish 2009

  • Good luck and good night P.D. I hope your cabin fever is going away.

    Think Progress » Fox News Scolds WellPoint Rate Hike, Not For Hurting Consumers, But For Energizing Health Reform Advocates 2010

  • Bus rides are not even an option for me if for a duration, so I want/need the space to be able to breathe and enjoy more than the confines of a limited area - "cabin fever" is never far away.

    Maximum size of property purchase 2007

  • Colds are caused by "the application of cold to the body giving a check to perspiration," influenza epidemics are "undoubtedly" due to the "state of the atmosphere," and brain fever is often caused by "night-watching, especially when joined with hard study."

    Vitalogy Edward Willett 2007

  • Thus the term fever, is generally given to a collection of morbid symptoms; which are indeed so many distinct diseases, that sometimes appear together, and sometimes separately; hence it has no determinate meaning, except it signifies simply a quick pulse, which continues for some hours; in which sense it is here used.

    Zoonomia, Vol. II Or, the Laws of Organic Life Erasmus Darwin 1766

  • The report, aimed at calming what it calls "fever phobia," also says there is no evidence that lowering a fever will help a child get well faster, or that leaving a fever untreated could cause seizures, brain damage or death, as some caregivers fear.

    Sweating Out a Fever Melinda Beck 2011

  • He did have a little diarreha, but I think the fever is actually from a cold he's been slowly trying not to catch.

    Day in the Life of an Idiot lyda222 2008


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  • Desperation fevered her, and she began to speak vindictively.

    - Rebecca West, The Judge

    August 28, 2009