Definitions

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

  • noun A painful infection of the gums, oral mucosa, and throat marked by ulcerative lesions and foul breath and caused by anaerobic fusiform bacteria, such as Bacillus fusiformis, in combination with spirochetes, especially Borrelia vincentii.

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

  • noun idiomatic, medicine Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis, a severe bacterial infection of the gums, typically characterized by inflammation, bleeding, deep ulceration, necrotized tissue, pain, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, fatigue, and halitosis.

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

  • noun an acute communicable infection of the respiratory tract and mouth marked by ulceration of the mucous membrane

Etymologies

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

[From its occurrence in soldiers in trenches.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably coined during World War I when the disease was common among soldiers "in the trenches."

Examples

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