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

  • n. The earliest documented case of a disease included in an epidemiologic study.

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

  • n. the earliest documented case of a disease that is included in an epidemiological study


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  • "All the evidence that he had compiled pointed to the existence of an index case that would confirm, once and for all, the very theory that he had so long resisted."

    —Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map (New York: Penguin, 2006), 177

    October 3, 2008