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

  • noun A chronic, mildly contagious disease of tropical and subtropical regions, caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae, marked by lesions of the skin and mucous membranes and damage to peripheral nerves and other organs that, if untreated, can progress to disfigurement, lack of sensation, and blindness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name given to several different diseases. Regarding the leprosy of the Jews nothing certain is known. The term was probably applied to various cutaneous diseases, especially those of a chronic or contagious character. The term is now commonly restricted to lepra cutanea, or elephantiasis Græcorum. See lepra.

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

  • noun (Med.) A cutaneous disease which first appears as blebs or as reddish, shining, slightly prominent spots, with spreading edges. These are often followed by an eruption of dark or yellowish prominent nodules, frequently producing great deformity. In one variety of the disease, anæsthesia of the skin is a prominent symptom. In addition there may be wasting of the muscles, falling out of the hair and nails, and distortion of the hands and feet with destruction of the bones and joints. It is incurable, and is probably contagious.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An infectious disease caused by infection by Mycobacterium leprae.
  • noun In the Bible, a disease of the skin not conclusively identified, which can also affect clothes and houses.

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

  • noun chronic granulomatous communicable disease occurring in tropical and subtropical regions; characterized by inflamed nodules beneath the skin and wasting of body parts; caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium leprae


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

[Middle English lepruse, from leprus, leprous; see leprous.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin leprōsia.



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  • "Take some unicorn liver, grind it up and mash with egg yolk to make an ointment. Every type of leprosy is healed, if treated frequently with this ointment, unless the patient is destined to die or God intends not to aid him. For the liver of that animal has a good, pure warmth and the yolk is the most precious part of the egg and like a salve. Leprosy, however, comes frequently from black bile and from plethoric black blood. Take some unicorn pelt. From it, cut a belt and gird it around the body, thus averting attack by plague or fever. Make also some shoes from unicorn leather and wear them, thus assuring every healthy feet, thighs and joints, nor will the plague ever attack these limbs. Apart from that, nothing else of the unicorn is to be used medically."

    St Hildegard of Bingen.

    January 11, 2009

  • Ben-Hur's mother and sister had this.

    July 16, 2012