Definition of herpes in English:



  • [mass noun] Any of a group of virus diseases caused by herpesviruses, affecting the skin (often with blisters) or the nervous system.

    • ‘Viruses like herpes and HPV have moments where sores have not flared-up.’
    • ‘In combination with drug therapies, it is useful in treating skin diseases, such as psoriasis, herpes, and eczema.’
    • ‘A serious consequence of genital HSV infection is neonatal herpes, which results from transmission from mother to infant.’
    • ‘Genital herpes can result from infection with either viral type.’
    • ‘Your pap smear can occasionally identify sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes or human papilloma virus.’
    • ‘Gonorrhoea, chlamydia and herpes can all, given the right conditions, be passed on by oral sex, she says.’
    • ‘Although smaller in number, incidences of gonorrhea and genital warts rose, while there was a fall in cases of herpes and syphilis.’
    • ‘Sufferers are also more prone to herpes and skin infections.’
    • ‘The site also offers graphic photos of just what syphilis, herpes, warts and what have you look like.’
    • ‘Children often become infected with type 1 herpes during the first years of life.’
    • ‘After initial infection from either herpes or hepatitis one would show clinical signs of illness within a few weeks, not after years.’
    • ‘Women should be asked carefully about symptoms of herpes infections at the onset of labor.’
    • ‘The most devastating consequence of genital herpes is neonatal herpes.’
    • ‘Infections like cold, chicken pox, herpes are all caused by viruses.’
    • ‘Once a person is infected with oral herpes, the virus remains in a nerve located near the cheekbone.’
    • ‘Oral herpes is a viral infection that affects the mouth, throat, and parts of the face.’
    • ‘Viruses including flu, herpes, measles and chickenpox can cause pneumonia.’
    • ‘Some of the common STIs are syphilis, herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV.’
    • ‘The technology will be applied to viral targets such as hepatitis B and herpes as well as to other infective agents.’
    • ‘The presence of sores due to herpes or syphilis may also increase the chance of spreading HIV regardless of the type of sex activity.’


Late Middle English (originally used also of other skin conditions): via Latin from Greek herpēs shingles, literally creeping, from herpein to creep.