from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An acute contagious viral infection characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract and by fever, chills, muscular pain, and prostration. Also called grippe.
- n. Any of various viral infections of domestic animals characterized generally by fever and respiratory involvement.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An acute contagious disease of the upper airways and lungs, caused by a virus, which rapidly spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An epidemic viral infectious disease characterized by acute nasal catarrh, or by inflammation of the throat or the bronchi, and usually accompanied by fever and general weakness; also called grippe. It is caused by several forms of RNA virus which mutate readily and thereby render vaccines prepared against older forms ineffective, often requiring a new form of vaccine for each new outbreak.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An epidemic catarrh of an aggravated kind, attended with serious febrile symptoms and rapid prostration.
- n. A prevailing influence; an epidemic.
- n. Influenza is an acute infectious disease of which the most prominent symptoms are fever, general prostration, pains in various parts of the body, and inflammatory processes attacking the serous or mucous membranes, the lungs, or the nerves. The onset is usually abrupt with headache, backache, fever, and loss of strength. According to the organs most affected in its further progress, the disease is said to be of the respiratory, nervous, or gastro-intestinal form. Influenza is noteworthy for the rapidity with which an epidemic sweeps over entire countries and even from one continent to another, and for the large proportion of the population attacked when it is prevalent. The disease is caused by a small, non-motile bacillus which occurs in great numbers in the nasal and bronchial secretions of the patients. Influenza has a low death rate, but its effect on the general health is often severe and lasting, and many grave sequelæ are possible. One attack does not protect against a second. The ordinary influenza or ‘grippe,’ though in some ways simulating true epidemic influenza, is a different and much milder disease.
- n. An infectious specific fever of horses, asses, and mules, characterized by alterations of the blood, great depression of the vital forces, and inflammatory complications, especially of the lungs, intestines, and brain. It usually assumes an epizootic form.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an acute febrile highly contagious viral disease
The name influenza comes from the Italian: influenza, meaning "influence" (Latin: influentia).
The name influenza comes from the Italian: influenza, meaning
“The word influenza comes from the Old Italian,” she said.
That's where the term influenza, the Italian word for influence, came from.
_ -- The term influenza is applied to a febrile, contagious, infectious disease of horses, which is characterized by a blood infection, with inflammation of the mucous membranes, which frequently involves the lungs.
I had an unaccountable prostration of strength which they called influenza, but which, I believe, was nothing but some obstruction in the liver.
I have lately had the epidemical distemper; I don't mean poverty, but that cold which they call the influenza, and which made its first appearance in London;  whether it came to Scotland in the wagon, or travelled with a companion in a post-chaise, is quite uncertain.
It is derived from the Italian word "influenza," which means: "to drink a lot of ginger ale."
But what if everything we think we know about fighting influenza is wrong?
The influenza is very present in the excellent Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess.