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

  • n. Any of several viral diseases causing the eruption of small blisterlike vesicles on the skin or mucous membranes, especially herpes simplex or herpes zoster.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A viral infection, caused by the Herpes simplex virus, marked by painful, watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes or on the genitals.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An eruption of the skin, taking various names, according to its form, or the part affected, caused by a herpesvirus infection; especially, an eruption of vesicles in small distinct clusters, accompanied with itching or tingling, including shingles, ringworm, and the like; -- so called from its tendency to creep or spread from one part of the skin to another.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cutaneous affection, also occurring sometimes on mucous membranes, characterized by the appearance of patches of distinct vesicles. Several forms of herpes are named, of which the principal are those given below.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] In entomology, a genus of weevils, of the family Curculionidæ, having as type H. porcellos, of Asiatic Turkey.

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

  • n. any of the animal viruses that cause painful blisters on the skin
  • n. viral diseases causing eruptions of the skin or mucous membrane


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

Middle English, from Latin herpēs, from Greek, from herpein, to creep.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin herpes, from Ancient Greek ἕρπης (herpēs, "herpes; literally, a creeping"), from ἕρπειν (herpein, "to creep").



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  • I'll have to remember this next time I need a note on a colleague's desk to grab his/her attention.

    October 28, 2008

  • Recently our local hockey megastars featured on a massive billboard ad for some kids' charity, with the slogan something like "we have heroes too", the idea being as I recall that the suffering kids were their heroes.

    Happily the predictable adjustment to the 'o' was accomplished so as to render it indistinguishable from the ordinary type.

    October 25, 2008

  • I saw a note on my desk that caught my eye because it said "herpes."

    It didn't; it said "heroes."

    Change one letter...

    October 24, 2008

  • See also herpetology, just for a gas.

    April 20, 2008

  • Yes, I remember this creature being quashed by John. And good riddance. Geez....

    March 27, 2008

  • I take it nicolexue is a departed spammer, since trying to view his/her/its profile produces a 404. Between this one and mi-vox we do seem to be singled out by some impressively distinctive specimens: no mere 'buy v1agra n0w' or 'en1arge y0ur p3n1s' monstrosities here. We're far too classy.

    March 27, 2008

  • What a delightfully diverse set of contributors to this thread! -- now there's an interesting concept. A kind of online shingles bar. Copayment on that Valtrextini only $10, contingent on preapproval from your HMO. Come for the cold sores; stay for the filthy ...

    Oh, never mind. You'll have a blistering good time!

    Klamydia Lydia

    March 27, 2008

  • Ha!

    March 27, 2008

  • HERPES - A blockbuster TV series about seemingly normal people who acquire mysterious powers through sexually transmitted diseases. But some of these special ones may be tempted to use their gifts in the service of evil: save the cheerleader from genital warts, save the world.

    March 27, 2008

  • Herpes is actually a generic term which includes chickenpox, shingles, cold sores. It can be mistaken as Impetigo so make sure your doctor is careful with the diagnosis.

    February 5, 2008

  • A village in France.

    January 2, 2008